Little by little I am learning to trust the cycles, the seasons, of my life. As I get older I am beginning to notice life moves along in ebbs in flows, in all facets, all the time. Somewhere inside myself I had this knowledge and could sense it, but only sort of. It is only recently I’m feeling it as part of me. Innately knowing that I am part of the seasons. And with that, knowing that slow times of absorbing are equally as important as times of quickness and pursuit.
I have spent much time, too much time, trying to ignore the calling of the seasons and pushing through for what I deemed necessary at the time. Necessary for gain, growth, duty, whatever my project oriented self had on the radar. But friends. Something beautiful has shifted, and I need to share it with you, because I think (I hope) it could support you in your journey as well. Lately I don’t have much on the radar.
I am not focused on producing anything right now. I am absorbing and assimilating, quietly occupying that space before the output. What’s funny, is inside this place of non-pursuit, of passive creation – a whole lot is churning, learning, forming, preparing itself for the day it is ready for release. I’ve been writing here and there, but it doesn’t have to be something!, like usual in my mind. It can simply be for the sake of being, just for me.
How does this relate to you, your journey with grief, your despair, your loss? It comes as hindsight, but hopefully in a helpful way, not in the annoying way that hindsight advice often arrives.
During the depths of my grief, when I really wasn’t sure there was a way out, I couldn’t feel the concept of cycles and seasons in my heart and soul. It wasn’t attainable at the time. I wasn’t able to trust in my body’s own seasons and cycles. All I wanted was to push forward and have that baby. I didn’t want to sit in the fallow times, the silent times, the moments I felt nothing was happening. Looking back, a lot was happening. My body was resting and preparing. My heart, my spirit were also resting. They had to. They had been through too much to continue going forward too quickly.
These times, the “low” points in the cycle are every bit as important as the times that feel “high.” We need them both. The tides come and go daily, and we don’t judge high tide versus low tide. Spring follows winter – nature is filled with it’s own seasons. Every year, I’m amazed at the cherry blossoms in our neighborhood. Most of the year they lie dormant, brown, dead looking. It is only for a matter of weeks that they flourish – casting out with an incredible spectacle of pink and white fluffy, snow-like blossoms. I have come to think of grief and healing in a sort of similar way. For far too long, it feels brown and dead. And then somewhere along the way, maybe for just a short snippet of time, beauty pours forth inexplicably. I once read a quote from Bob Dylan about how when he finished an album he would think, that’s it. I’m done. It won’t happen again. The great and prolific Bob Dylan also had to learn to trust in the quiet – his in between places.
So. From a place of hindsight, I encourage you to give up a notion of doing for a time. Lie down somewhere summer might take you – on a sandy beach, under a weeping willow, on a dock with your toes dangling in a lake, wrapped up in a blanket on your couch while rain kisses your windows. Find comfort in the truth that creation flourishes after dormancy. That light arrives on the other side of darkness. Rest. Be gentle. Don’t push. See what it feels like to not have an agenda.
I, for one, am about to (mostly) sign off my computer, the world of the internet, any thought of destination or outcome. August is beckoning me to release all thoughts of productivity and to be in my world without labeling it. To simply trust in my seasons. This is my month to follow my heart space, wherever that may lead. I am ready to turn inward and see where the sunshine takes me.