Each year I send a photo of my first spotting of a spring flower to my longtime friend, Melodee, in Anchorage. She sends me back a picture of her snow covered driveway. It is a pause to appreciate the perpetual power of the seasons.
Every year the crocus counsels me on the inevitability of spring. Every year I need her precious reminder.
As winter comes to a close, I find myself mysteriously steeped in focusing on doubts and disappointments, mostly in myself. Am I once again pledging to purge the little stacks and bags and boxes lingering in corners? Am I really starting all over again with my intention to have a meaningful meditation practice? Are those my shoulders slumping in that photo?
If I am not wholeheartedly on fire about what is happening in my life, I can forget that there are times when we will be and do more, and times when we will be and do less. My life has been rich. I got a good education. Saw a bit of the world. Enjoyed two great professions. Wrote a book. Raised amazing children. Married twice. Divorced once. Fell in love a few times. Saw the death of a brother, a father, a mother, a husband. Walked on hot coals (literally). Despite having lived plenty, I sometimes forget the inevitable cycles of life.
When my horoscope predicted a lot of lessons this year, my optimistic me declared it my year of learning. I shared this with a friend, who then asked, “What were all of those other years?” “I have to repeat a few classes,” I admitted.
Despite decades of daffodils and flowering crab apple trees, I forget the lesson that spring comes again.
I forget that my failures give me a fertile foundation for forging toward my future. But for death and divorce, I would not know that one could love again, or that one could lose a great love and still live to see another spring.
Thank you, crocus, for reminding me that I can rise up and out of the cold and the dark, that I can reach upward toward the light and the warmth, that the winter of my disappointment will pass, and that a new season is arriving.
As you travel your divorce journey, may you find your crocus. May she remind you that spring will follow your winter— always. Something beautiful is on the brink of blooming. And it’s you.