The 39th anniversary of my Mother’s death has recently passed.
This year, for the first time, I am living beyond the age that she was when she died.
Tonight, I was surprised, side swiped and bowled over by a deep upwelling of grief. Feeling absolutely bereft, not only with the grief which can still be so raw after so many years, but at an absolute loss over how to grow into my life. Since the age of 16, I have lived inside of, and pushed against and grown beyond the shape of my Mother’s life. But always with an awareness of where the boundaries and edges are. Now, in living beyond her years, the edges are gone.
Tonight I felt as though I don’t possibly have what it takes to go forward into the unknown. This beautiful snowdrop shows me, with grace, how to emerge from the dark of Winter and that perhaps I have already been through the most difficult part of the journey.
The small and fragile snowdrop flower is a symbol of rebirth, positivity and a bright future. The tiny flower of snowdrop announces the forthcoming of spring. This beautiful sign of awakening nature is considered to be the emblem of Hope.
I don’t set resolutions at the New Year, but acknowledge the turning of the great wheel, from dark to light, and the portending of springtime, a time of growth and renewal.
I do choose a word for the year. My word for 2017 is ‘hope’.
Along with most of us, many of the big events on the world stage in 2016 certainly knocked me for a loop. I heard and read a lot about people falling into despair and the losing of hope. Some people seem to believe that it is naive to be hopeful in the face of bad news and calamitous events. But I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ kind of gal. Let’s see what we’ve got here, where can we go from here and how can we make it better than it is now. That’s me. I look at the world as a realist, acknowledging the darkness when it is there and I am so grateful that I always, always come back to the brighter side of a situation.
As I did some final shopping for New Year’s Eve in my town yesterday, some unblossomed daffodils at the greengrocers tugged at my awareness each time I walked past. There was a box containing a few dozen bunches, rubber-banded together. Some had opened and were braving the grey and chilly day. On my way back home I chose three bunches that hadn’t opened yet. These about to open buds embody what hope means to me.
Hope is the expectation of a space for something to happen. Not necessarily a specific outcome, but something new that might just defy all expectations. Rather than a passive stasis of wishful thinking, hope feels active to me. A brave place of flux and tension, where something new and better can arise.
I believe that we can shape things for the better. I do not believe that we’re doomed to follow a downhill slope into a dystopian world. We can vision a brave new world and have a hand in making our place in it as kind and positive and good as we possibly can. How we each interact in our own small world of family, friends, environment, home and with all whom we meet, both human and critter, contributes to the shape of the big world and this is a very power full thing indeed.