"What gifts came as a result of the darkness of this year?"
A question I have asked myself again and again this week as I settled my mind on "springing ahead," even the clock speaking of the hope of longer daylight and warmer spirits.
I am usually someone who rushes over the "wintry" grief and wants to spring right to positivity. I like that. I'm definitely a "spring-forward" girl.
But I am learning that it does NOT work. I can't just rush to JOY. Nor should I.
So when that question came, I paused.
First, I need to speak of the darkness.
Of the cocoony, wintery, messy, middle-of-the-muck-and-mire-stuff.
Life is hard. Too hard in many ways. DARK. Really dark.
But my heart (my spring-forward heart) also sees the gifts that can only come as a result of the darkness.
I've been watching our rhododendron sleep through the winter, the buds closed tight, hunkering down.
On one of the coldest and darkest days, the buds were covered with ice, the leaves droopy and frozen.
I stood there looking at it through my big window, marveling that when the light and the warm and the spring finally come, each frigid bud will burst forth into all the purple blooms that shout beauty and hope.
The blooms are the gift of the darkness.
So right back to my question.
"What gifts do I want to bring with me out of the darkness and into the "spring," into the light?
To be honest, there are many.
Life-changing gifts that have only come as a result of the darkness.
Gifts like compassion, recovery, creativity, transformation, and dare-I-say, resurrection.
Gifts I will continue to unwrap for the rest of my days. Gifts I will hold onto like a treasure box only meant for me.
Terrible, beautiful, sacred, horrible, hard, holy, very very good gifts.
The gifts of the darkness.
I'm peeking out an my rhododendron on this bright, sunny day.
It's reaching for the light and its leaves are glorious.
The buds are still closed, not quite as tight, and I can see their faint color through the green.
Soon, the purple will unfurl into all of its goodness.
It won't be for a few more weeks, but I can feel the gift of incredible beauty as if it is right now.