Monday, April 22

Two Steps Forward

Winter is arm-wrestling with Spring.  Inching first toward one and then back hard toward the other.  Spring is going to have to stand tough for its place this year.  We know, we all know, it will win but still we ride the hedging emotions between hope and despair.  Another day of 65.  Another day of snow. And back again.

Around here we press forward with confidence; thinning the branches of Silver Maple, unwrapping the faucets, fertilizing the lawn.  No matter how the hard freeze keeps walloping it back, we have to believe that the bursting forth will come.

I have a friend who is doing this kind of believing for her baby boy to crawl at last.  Another friend rides the back-and-forth in her marriage.  I, too, patiently parent the teen-becoming-a-man.  Grieving Bostonians wait to turn a corner.  And the white stuff is now trying to cover the green.

At this moment hope and perseverance is the stuff that binds us.  There is a collective push into the future, warm and bright. A common impelling.  None can stay behind.  Pockets of frozen-over death and dormancy cannot remain here or there.  In terms of nature's seasons, we all move into what's next together.

Yet, in seasons of the spirit our different paces drag the marathon.  How much do we encourage one another to move toward hope in the everyday?  In the spiritual lagging, do we come alongside and cast a vision that says, "You're becoming!  You're becoming!"  Or do we run on ahead, leaving the stragglers to themselves, afraid we'll soon feel the nipping at our own fingers and toes?  Can we cheer one another on so that we all can round the bend into the emerging?  Lifting up the lesser brave, the fearful, the dubious?  Pouring cool water out for the striving?

Somewhere, somehow you have to learn the skills—and the suffering—of doing life together. I am afraid it is a necessary suffering or you do not do much together—or even well—or for very long.  -- Christopher Heuertz, Unexpected Gifts

We're bringing branches indoors, watering them in a vase, willing them to sprout.  Bold, brave and sure.  I have named them for each of you who I know are trying to wrestle through the wood into the open air and sunlight.  Take courage; you're becoming!  The bursting forth is happening.  The wrestling is a part of the process.

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