Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another spring

The other day I wandered around my yard, exploring buds and picking up old sticks. I was glad to see the cherry trees my son bought me for Mother’s Day last year survived the winter. I promised my sparse raspberry stand I would take better care of it this year. On the edge of the yard where we used to plant our garden, horseradish plants pushed through the earth—a gift from my dad who had a penchant for this strong-flavored root.

Sadness swept over me as I whispered, Another winter has passed and another spring has arrived without you in it. How can this be? Why do we keep looking for signs of new birth each spring when you’re not here to plow your beloved garden and tend to its produce all summer and rejoice in its harvest each fall? How can the seasons keep right on coming and going with this gap in the universe?

I wondered if things would ever feel “right” again or if this sense of loss would stay with me the rest of my life. I realized the latter would most likely be the case, and only our reunion day could fill the empty spot in my heart.

I turned my thoughts to that joyful day when I will embrace my loved ones again and never have to say good-bye. I smiled to think of the time we will walk hand in hand and experience a kind of perfect unity we never knew in this life. I realized that as long as I’m on this Earth, a deep part of me will yearn for the life that follows this one.

Like my dad’s plants stubbornly pushing their way out from beneath the earth year after year, our own rebirth and new life will come as surely as spring follows winter.

“Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us from this place and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom. Anyone who has been in the foreign lands longs to return to his own native land. … We regard paradise as our native land.”
— Cyprian

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