Sometimes we don’t realize how dark it is until light begins to hesitantly slide across the sky. We don’t realize how cold it has been until the thermometer budges slightly upward. We don’t know how tired we have been until we feel a pillow underneath our head. We don’t know how lonely we have been until we talk with a true friend. We don’t know how silent it was until we hear heart wrenching music. We don’t know how gray and drab our lives have been until something beautiful walks onto our stage.
This winter was long. It was cold. There were frequent snowy days, messy days, and icy temperatures. My galavanting ways were kaboshed by Winter. Mentally, my aggravation level rose as I tried to convince myself that I was building a studio, growing a business, and yet each week the cancellations and postponements occurred due to weather leaving me feeling like I was treading water. My husband was gone for long, grueling days, leaving me feeling lonely, isolated, overwhelmed during certain hours of each week, adjusting to new schedules, new responsibilities, and taking care of two children. My motivation lagged, my brain played tricks, my energy and ingenuity seemed as if it packed up and left for Florida. I tried to stay positive. I was grateful for each moment with my equally restless babies. But we had moments. Our days. My daughter picked up the saying, “I’m going to lose my mind.” And then we just lulled in our temporary normal. We watched too much PBSKids and probably ate too many snacks.
Then the light changed and the days were longer in March. The first day the sun stays up later might possibly be my favorite day of the year, trumping even Christmas. Life springs up from it’s dark wintery grave. The shroud of afternoon shadows sidles away with it’s head is hung in shame. The week we changed the time was my most productive week in months. I actually finished my projects and wandered around wondering what I was forgetting to do, realizing I was temporarily caught up.
This past Saturday, I walked into our neglected, brown backyard with my daughter. To my astonishment there was purple life growing right underneath my windows. Crocus were blooming in small hoards. I got a little too giddy at the sight. We stayed outside for awhile. She ripped open her sandbox and pulled off her shoes and socks.
My baby girl has been going to the windows and waving at the trees. When I take her outside, she looks around at the airy world with a quizzical wonder. My older daughter was born on the reverse side of the calendar. By this age, she had experienced lots of spring and summer days rolling in grass and sand and blue waves. This little baby has barely breathed in fresh air for the last four months- because the air would have frozen her lungs, heart, head, and soul.
I feel alive again. The darkness is broken. The cold is easing. The light has come. The warmth is gaining a foothold. I want to live again. I want to think and talk and laugh again. I want to read and write and dream and invent and scheme. I watch the investments of the pre-winter season coming to term now. I didn’t realize just how lonely and dark and restless my winter had been until spring broke through and overtook the deadness.
Light and life join together. We need light for life. Literally and figuratively. The wonderful thing about realizing how dark, cold, lonely, or fill in the blank, a period of life has been is to realize it is behind us and to see the strength we have received during that time. It it realizing how much brighter the light is after the darkness, how much more welcome the flowering life after the deadness, how much more treasured the friendships after loneliness. The brilliance of light is that it shows our need and illuminates our lives.