It is the end of that recurring season of frigidness, and she has come again...
The scars of what seems like too many days in the cold are still present, and all around me. We all have those scars no matter where we find ourselves, they are the unmistakable impressions of lives lived out in the uncomfortable open. We are not all threatened by frostbite. But like deciduous trees our leaves fall off, and our limbs are left bare to embrace the elements during the days of cold. Those days of discomfort come and go in our lives wherever we are… the extent of our exposure, a matter of degrees. For some of us, on those seemingly endless days, the presence of sunlight does very little to quell the wrath of Jack Frost. Threat of frostbite or not, we all experience that season in our lives when not much flourishes...or grows for that matter. Even the “evergreen” will testify to this.
We have been told by the more “seasoned” among us that there is no such thing as bad weather… just bad clothes. There is undeniable wisdom in that old adage, but I beg to differ. Heavy coats and appropriately insulated boots or not, bad weather is a fact of our experience. It is a reality that tends to wear us out despite our best efforts at clothing ourselves against it. We may dress ourselves up in its presence, but its impact remains nonetheless unmistakably wearisome.
Squirrels hide their nuts. Birds fly South to more agreeable climes. And we… well we either imitate the birds, or we bundle up till the days become more accessible to the company of the sun. For some, the option to shut things down and retreat to places where we can hibernate is rather appealing... it seems to come naturally. For others the challenges of daily survival dictate that we adjust our pace and keep moving forward. Like the mail, there are items that we need in our lives which must be delivered despite seasonal and temperamental challenges.
She has been gone for awhile, and I have missed her...
I have grown accustomed to her coming and going… she does so with an abiding constancy. When she is with me I experience that wonderful reawakening that affirms again the presence of the roots of my potential effervescence. The stimulating vitality of her aura makes me sprout again in all the right places. Yes, she makes me breathe and live again in ways that celebrate my fecundity. Savoring this aspect of her impact on me, I sometimes enquire of her as to why she has to go as she does… And she, in her everlasting patience, reminds me that it is essential that we have time apart.
Discerning my angst she places her kind, stilling, fingers on my quivering lips; and like the poet Gibran, she breathes into my ears the substantial sentiments… There must be spaces in our togetherness... Sentiments that, like myself, some may find difficult to embrace and cultivate, but that are nevertheless so essential to our individual and communal well-being. Spaces for rest and restoration. Spaces to discover and be discovered. Spaces to be and to become. Spaces for everything and for no-thing. Spaces to create and to re-create… Spaces… Yes… Let there be spaces...
As has been the case, it was around the beginning of Summer that we were last together. After that season of resurrection and reinvigoration she inspired me to nurture the products of our mutual insemination. With the help of her warming influence and the blessed showers of our fertile dalliance, we together sowed and nurtured the seeds that are witnesses to our divine multiplicity. In time it would be up to me to reap and to store as needs be, the abundant harvest of our innate creativity.
“Your life and mine are the place where Heaven and Earth intersect”, she always says.
I believe I now understand what she means. It is true that we are both creatures and creators. Our lives are the gardens where the gods come to play… where they resort to connect with their primeval clay. I know without doubt that the place where we connect is idyllic. It is indeed a place of unmistakable bliss. But beyond my agreeable reflections during the seasons of her absence, there remains my persistent longing for her. I can state with a certain guilty pleasure that our intersection is the place where I most want to have my life. Those who know her will agree.
My longing however, is fortunately not a function of any essential intransigence. I am certain of this because I have come to trust her wisdom. I have come to recognize and affirm the need for, and the nature of the spaces in our togetherness. Those spaces help us to keep and maintain the boundaries between our needs and our wants. It is essential to the cause of balance in our lives that they be kept clearly defined. They serve to prevent the kind of intransigence that clouds our judgement, and render redundant our claims to any right of self-determination. Our recognition of the value of the essential spaces in our experience is what helps us to connect with the time honored declaration... “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… ”. This is a self-evident truth about which the "The Preacher" speaks to us with a certainty that is inescapable:
“A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Discarding the heavy garb of a season of frigidity… Come Spring!
There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. As much as we may revel in our wants, it is the path of necessity that keeps us appropriately focused. We can, and should enjoy our wants without compromising our needs. The cultivation of appropriate focus helps us to transition effectively into the various seasons of our lives and their natural demands. I have been feeling her unmistakable approach for some days now. There is a warmth that is in no way transitory, and it is all around me. Yes she is here, this is no tease. There is a stirring in my sacred places that tells me that I am ready, that she is near… That the time has come for us to cohabitate again.
The bulbs that laid dormant underground have started to shoot their way through fertile topsoil. The limbs that seemed asleep yesterday are now displaying their multiple eruptions of vitality… their succulent sprouts soon to be leaves providing shade, and shelter, and sustenance. The geese are gathered again around the ponds. They are as loud as ever as they announce their presence and mark their territory. It is breeding season. And youth... Youth have discarded the heavy garb of caution in favor of the more flattering wear that invites passionate encounter. Spring is. Here again.
I awoke this morning and there she was in all her magnificent splendor. I opened my eyes, and all my senses rejoiced at her extraordinarily enlivening and fragrant presence. Her beautiful visage as manifestly magnetic as always. Seeing her, I stood up. And I advanced with unhurried steps toward the twin windows of my dwelling. I unlatched them and swung them wide open. Her air came in at a pace that matched my strides. It was neither hot nor cold, just air as it is meant to be on such a day as this. There was no bluster. She was calm, comfortable, and joy-evokingly splendid. She was non-abrasively enjoyable. Nakedness-inspiring. She was there with me, occupying the very space in which I stood...
… And we embraced… With an unhurried kiss we simultaneously inhaled the breath of our mutuality. And time stood still as if to salute the passing of another season… as if to honor the letting down of our guard on this new day. And I absorbed her in all her essentialness. And she enveloped me as only she could. And we knew each other… Again.