“November would be unbearable were it not for knowledge of spring.”
I wish I could remember the author of that quote. An internet search turned up nothing, and I am probably misremembering it, but that is the gist of it at any rate.
I heard it back in my college days, studying literature, and the edge of my brain is saying it was a woman writer in the 19th or early-to-mid 20th century.
I’m thinking of this quote in terms of my mother, beyond this physical world now. I suppose spring represents the mystical realm, where I believe I will see those who mattered to me again. At least the thought sustains me in these darkening days.
The large maple tree in our yard, so recently flush with green leaves – with life – stands bare again as the year cycles. The birth and death of its foliage every year reminds me that I will cycle too, but unlike those leaves, I will not regenerate in the spring – at least not here.
My mother told me once that she heard in her mind: “we’re waiting,” when she stood outside on a frigid winter day, wondering what happens to the leafless trees through the long winter months.
Are you waiting now, Mom?
I glance at that tree through my window, and think about my mother having cycled into the underworld. She is literally under the ground now – no word on what happened to her spirit or soul.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were spirit journalists – envoys from wherever they are now – sending their observations on the work-a-day spirit world back into this physical realm where we could pick up their papers and journals, or read their blogs?
I’d particularly like to read Mark Twain’s (Samuel Clemens’) observations. I’m sure my mother would too.
She had a good sense of humor, and appreciated irony and satire.
I took a trip to my mother’s old trailer, and was depressed about the state of it.
All the wood and the walls and the ceiling and floor are rotting away. All I could think was “as above, so below.” I try not to think about my mother decomposing in her grave – but she always spoke almost reverently about becoming “worm food.”
A grave robber broke into Mozart’s tomb and was shocked to see him sitting there, furiously erasing what looked like one of his symphonies.
“What are you doing?” blurted out the startled robber.
“I’m decomposing!” replied Mozart. (one of my mother’s favorite silly jokes)
Besides missing laughing, joking, and talking with her, it strikes me that I probably never knew my mother as she saw herself, and I didn’t particularly like aspects of my mother that can bring up terribleness even now.
I see my mother through my lens of need, often forgetting that her neglect and dysfunction helped cause much of my disturbed emotional being.
But, I still love her for what she was able to do – for her trying to do better. I remember how she was there for me when my son was born, and throughout his growing up – even though I curse the hell that was wired into my brain, which hurt my ability be the mother I had wanted to be. Even so, I did far better with my son than was done for me.
People like to quibble on the nature vs nurture question, but time and again we see those who mostly had what they needed as children doing far better than those who didn’t. All you need is one appropriate, concerned and loving caregiver to get you through awful circumstances, and perhaps even thrive, but not everyone gets that. Humans are resilient, and I know that we continue on regardless – I and my siblings are proof of that – but we still paid, and in some ways, continue to pay for what we endured.
We are all on a heroes journey. We all suffer, face challenges large and small, and we all have the potential for victory. But those who don’t slay their dragons are not less worthy, they’re just less celebrated, or honored for having done their best. They “failed” to vanquish the darkness, but they still tried.
Sometimes there’s more to love in a loser than in a winner. We can all relate to loss.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current