Back to Life

by Jennifer on March 7, 2009

john-waterhouse-gather-ye-rosebuds-while-ye-may-detail-1-qpps_999916888194863lgSaturday, March 7th, 2009

I smelled the ocean in town the other day…all the way over at the post office.  It felt like everything was coming back to life, and I could too.

It isn’t as though I haven’t been alive.  I have just been in the underworld of winter.  I have been in the cave, under the water, hibernating to keep warm.  And now I am sleeping beauty waking, and the prince who wakes myself with a kiss both at once.  I am persephone rising…  spring has come.

I say every time that although I know spring comes each year, I am nonetheless surprised when it arrives.  More than surprised I am stunned…in awe…grateful beyond all reason…absolutely blown away by the gifts of the universe that would always bring spring after winter.  No matter how deep the darkness of winter goes, spring comes just the same…like the purest unconditional gift…like the most absolute redemption.  This is one way we can truly know that life comes after death.  It happens right in front of us in most of the world.

I have known so many people in my life who have experienced great winters of the heart and body…winters that lasted much longer than a season…winters that lasted years or decades or even most of a lifetime.  But spring always, always comes.  New life always follows death.  And if the death is great, great will be the new life it leads to.  We must let go, and experience loss, in order to open our arms to the radically new.  We may not understand it.  We may indeed barely live through it.  But the ultimate spring is eternal.  It is the spring of the heart, and it is where we come from, and where we are going.

I went to the animal shelter yesterday, just to touch the cats.  I realized I hadn’t been without cat love in twenty years and was experiencing serious withdrawl.  I also knew that any love I went to share with them would be so gratefully received, and it was a glorious experience.  Every cat that I reached my hand out to pressed their head into it, over and over again.  They drank the love like they had been thirsty for it forever, even though they receive love every day.  This is how we all are, I thought to myself.  This is how we all are.  We want love, again and again, and would reach out for it anywhere we know we could get it, if we weren’t trained not to.

Rub up against it.  Life, love…anything that feels good and allows you to feel yourself again.  Rub up against the earth, until your skin is rubbed clean and the buds emerge to meet you.  It won’t be long now…

love, jennifer

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