Tired of being tricked, the spring flowers on this bright and breezy Wisconsin morning seem to be turning toward the sun and asking, “You mean it this time?”
Or maybe that’s me asking.
As is typical in these parts, spring announced itself early with some pleasant warm days, then taunted us with a few chilly snaps before agreeing to stay for good.
Nature’s spring tantalizing sent me looking for a prior spring-themed post i’d written. I was surprised to find — in the way that the passing of time is nearly always surprising — that it has already been three years since that post (It’s the Thaw That Counts).
I was also startled at the contrast between that spring’s perspective and this one’s. That one had come during a period when i was still dealing with repercussions of a life-altering personal crisis.
As pleasant as today’s gentle breeze is, even more so is this reminder of how far behind me that particular storm is.
As i’ve said in the context of other transitions, for me one of the most important factors of confronting any challenging experience is determining to do so with complete honesty.
In April i wrote about how my spring seemed delayed this year. With summer came, finally, a return to rhythm, a settling in to ordinariness after a crisis. At such times the mundane is very welcome.
Arriving at the other side of a crisis — whether a medical one, relational, financial or otherwise — means discovering how much of it will stay with you, and how much of it you can truly move beyond. The damage is done — the healing is not. I’ve decided that the scars i bring along into the future do not need to define me. They are significant, but they are not the most significant thing about me.
You know how when you’re looking for a song video, some of them have the lyrics superimposed over the images? I like to think of the cancer recovery as text i choose to scroll behind the trees and flowers and friends.
Thinking about that foreground of life moving forward, i thought i’d try my hand at a haiku. I realize this poetic form does not need a title, but mine has one anyway.
Cruel month it was
Dangling taste of sunny days
Summer came and went
No ceasing seasons’ passing
Gladder spring next year
Wherever you are in facing life’s challenges, i wish you hope.
Just because spring is here doesn’t mean winter is over.
Such is the message nature seems to send with early spring’s warming days but still freezing nights. The poet T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month; the delivery of what we are being promised and afforded samplings of comes a bit later than the moment we feel ready for it — and takes longer than we care to be made to wait.
The delay of spring of another sort accounts for why i haven’t posted here as often lately as anticipated, my own elongated ‘April’ starting months ago, and similarly unkind in its aroused expectation and disappointing deferral. I’m referring to my extended recovery from a serious illness, which i wrote about last December. In that post, i explained why the illness and recovery would not be a primary topic for me on this blog.
I recently decided that doesn’t mean i won’t *ever* write about it… Continue reading