First Day of Spring

Duke gardens pond spring 2014

This morning I wanted to do something special for the Equinox, so I took a walk at Duke Gardens. I sipped my coffee as I walked along the paths of starting-to-bloom magnolia and plum trees, and listened to the gleeful ducks and woodpeckers. It was chilly at first, but once my blood started moving and the sun started peering through the branches, I felt warm and reconnected to the greenness of the Earth. I felt calm and grateful as I breathed in the beauty around me.

But it wasn’t enough to have a reconnecting experience. I had to create something new and fabulous to share with the world! So I sat on a stone bench and started writing. I was hoping to write something inspiring and transcendent about Spring and transformation. I would write about the divine feminine and the need to create new stories and modes of worship. But instead of beautiful, articulate, poetic words forming on the page, all the gunk that had been lying around under the surface came up and out. And it didn’t taste good. It was whiny and needy and boring and unpleasant. Damnit! All I wanted to do was write something transcendent and inspiring! Was that too much to ask?

Well, then I realized it was my ego talking. It’s been feeling vulnerable and needy lately. So I reminded myself that I’m not going to help anything by attaching a sense of worth to words I put on the page or out into the world. Really, who cares if I said I’d write about a different goddess each month, and today I don’t feel like I have anything to say about that? Who cares if I want to make up a new goddess and that feels daunting? Who cares if I never write anything worth reading ever again? I’m still a lovable person, and that was really the message I needed to hear.

When I first started seeing a grief counselor, she talked about mothering myself. That pissed me off, because I wanted my mother to mother me. It felt like such bullshit (and still does) that I can’t call my mother for reassurance when I’m feeling lonely or sad or unlovable. Now I have to tell myself every sweet, unconditionally loving thing my Mom would have said. Yes, I do turn to other loved ones who reassure me when I’m feeling bad – and I’m truly grateful for their love. But when I remember to do it, giving myself the unconditional love that I’m looking for – from my mother or anyone else – has been a really powerful process. It makes me feel connected to the Divine inside me, and makes me feel whole in a way that I never can from looking outside myself.

The first day of Spring feels hard because it’s a reminder that amidst another turn of the seasons, life returns to the Earth, except for those it doesn’t. My mother won’t be here for her birthday next week. And all the flowering quince, forsythia, daffodils, and crocus are reminders of her and her love of Spring. Her absence is painful beyond words. So I won’t try to write the perfect words about it. Today, I’ll just be. And I’ll try to remember love.