A little while ago we finally had some decent rain…. April was unseasonably dry here, and, although the weather had warmed up, the lack of moisture was holding every sign of spring deep within it. The day before the rain I had taken Gibbs to one of our favorite forests to walk. The trees were still bare, a few birds singing the only sound, grasses still dry and brown. But after the rain we returned and the birch trees had a new coat of green, the frogs were so loud it was hard to escape their croaks, the birds were singing in an unending chorus, and new green shoots were emerging from the brown stems of grass. Life had woken up! And that green of the birch tree leaves took my breath away with their luminous vibrancy. Each time I turned a corner to a stand of birches I stopped and stared again, refreshed by this simple color that is just the color I imagine spring to be.
As we continued on our walk that morning, I reflected on this burst of new life, and how it was only made possible by the rain. Without this shower of water, grace, love, hope, things would have held on to winter. Nothing would have changed. Leaves would have stayed curled up, frogs would have remained silent, tan the only color to see in the fields. It reflected to me our human journey through life, in this interconnected web we thrive in.
As people journeying through life we can get stuck in a time of ‘winter’. Although I have come to love winter in Minnesota, it can feel very long and hard and by February my body aches for color and light. The white glare of the snow becomes oppressive rather than magical and the layers of clothing make the body feel sluggish and hard to move. Our feelings can be this way…. Hard, long, cumbersome, or even just a feeling of blah-ness! We go through the days, nothing really wrong except a tinge of needing more. We may not realize what is missing or what out longings are, or we may think that something out there can make us change and burst with new life, but mostly we are just moving through with little thought. Alternatively we can be in an active time of feelings so strong and disturbing that we hold them as close to us as we are able, not trusting ourselves to express them, not trusting the world enough to share them, holding on, just trying to make it through another day, clinging as tightly as possible.
And then something happens. Maybe we have a burst of emotions, expressing the pain and angst at something possibly unconnected to the original hurt. Maybe we see something with new eyes, taking away a fear or softening our hearts. Maybe we seek help that allows us to take control of an aspect of our lives, or share something we have been silent about for too long. Maybe we find the courage to reach out and be vulnerable, or we find our ‘normal’ lives ground to a halt and discover new blessings in the midst of the change and grief. This ‘spurt of rain’ strips off a layer of the sameness, the control, the pain and we burst forth with sound and color and new life springing up unexpectedly.
As you move through these days, how is the ‘rain’ refreshing you? Inviting you into new life? Offering you healing? Or are you still clothed with layers of protection waiting for that rain? How can you croak with the frogs in a song that proclaims hope?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.