Friday, March 7, 2014
For me, the chill came early, in the autumn, when my husband lost his job. The loss, which was the second of this type in as many years, chilled me. The cold descended then, and endured, even when he quickly found employment elsewhere. Things were different; I was tired, and scared. And cold.
Just before Thanksgiving, as the November days grew short, and we were robbed of daylight, days got darker and colder still. Dad fell and ended up in a nursing home. Mom was scared too, and none of us knew quite what to do about it all. Some of us coped by hibernating and avoiding; others showed signs of stress in our bodies, our skin and bones crying out for healing.
January brought ice beyond my imagining. It was the coldest, snowiest winter of my life. Of course I was not alone in this, but sometimes the company gained in misery isn't enough to inoculate us from the sadness that we want to indulge in solo.
Daily work was simply too much. Isn't it all too much? Even the things that I should have been able to cope with and understand were just too much to bear. I was trying so hard, too hard, to warm myself. In the process I grew even colder. Why do we hide ourselves and try to stoke the fire single-handedly, while others stand by ready to toss a match our way? We have to take off our gloves long enough to accept the gift. Even if it makes us colder for a moment while we take the risk.
This morning, it was still cold. But birds, inexplicably, sang. They know, because they don't think; they feel and intuit and trust. Spring will come. Warmth will return.
Today, I choose hope. I take off the gloves and ask for help. Each day, I say three Hail Marys, and give three things, at least, over to My Mama and her Son. I trust them, even when - no, especially when - I am afraid. All of my needs will be provided for, and I am loved. I will say this as many times as necessary each day to remind myself what is true.
And in the tiniest way, I will grow warm. The spark seems insignificant, but that is hardly the case. A roaring fire comes from a tiny ember.
Warm days will return, and soon I will shake off the things I cling to that do not warm me, but only keep me bound.
Because today, I choose hope.