2015. Wow. How did that happen? And how is it already nearing the end of April? Winter has come and gone, spring has sprung, and the gleam of summer is in every child's eye as they finish up their school year.
The saying goes that March comes in like a lion... for me, it was January that came in like a lion. A new year, new endeavors, new hardships, new lessons, new realities. Almost too much to bear with at times... enough for at least two or three seasons, crammed into one crazy span of a week in one month. In so many ways, this has lead me to retreat, step back, crawl into my shell and hide for a bit. It's been hard. It's been scary. It's been my new reality.
The month of January 2015 held in store for me and my family the death of my aunt Kathy; the surgery, complications and re-hospitalization of my brother; and most frightening, my father suffered a stroke. The last week of January and beginning of February was spent with him in the hospital and then a rehabilitation hospital. On top of this, I started attending Northern Arizona University-Yavapai in January as a full time student. February brought with it the passing of a dear friend to cancer, and the continuing disintegration of some of the relationships in my life that had been struggling and that I had been struggling to nourish out of my own hurt.
I have a tendency to go into retreat mode when life gets overwhelming. As much as I want to "rage against the dying of the light", I find myself going into the cellar of my own mind and home to wait for the storm to pass, trying to think the storm away. Those periods are dark. They're overwhelming. And when I am in them, they feel like my new forever reality.
Thankfully, that is not the case. Because it's true... Nothing lasts. Everything changes.
The spring will always come. And I find myself, finally, emerging from that bunker, ready and capable of facing life, at least for now. And now is really all we have that we can be sure of. We are here now, right now... nothing else is guaranteed. I've learned that the very hard and scary way the last few years. The people we love aren't guaranteed to always be there. The people in our lives may not stay in our lives in the same ways that they have. You will lose people to death and difference and drama and distance to name a few.
But the amazing thing? The thing that keeps me going? You will gain new people, you will reconnect and connect even more with people you know, and in this modern world- distance doesn't have to be so bad, and in so many cases the differences are what makes a connection magical.
I am embarking on a new season... not just Spring as we know it in our environment, but a new season personally... mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's time to shed the brittle leaves of the past and take the time to allow for new growth in myself. I'm learning to pay attention to self, to nurture my own needs as well as others, and that working hard on and for myself ultimately leads to creating something good for everyone I love.