Winter Drive

Last week I chose to take the "back roads" home from school.  The back road is tree-lined and in the spring and summer, the infinite shades of green are a treat for the eyes and the heart.  On this day, the trees seemed skeletal, their empty branches jutting into the cloudy sky making the day seem colder.

What struck me as I drove was how so much was revealed without the leaves and shrubs.  I noticed a house being built several yards off the road; a small church nestled at the end of a long drive; a broken down chicken house that had fallen in on itself.

After I got home, I thought about what I had seen and felt a real sense of comfort.  This winter has been a bittersweet time for my family and me.  With the death of my mother, neither Kenny nor I have parents living.   Lacy's health has deteriorated over the years.   The "trees" of our lives are pretty bare right now.  But like the landscape I saw on the way home, the loss of the leaves reveals what's been hidden.

I could see a parallels to my life.  Like noticing the new construction, I can see something being built where once there was nothing, a capacity for love and for opening my heart that I hadn't realized I was gaining.  Seeing there were some areas of my life - like the little church - that I had forgotten were there.  And yes, recognizing the ruins that needed to be cleared away.

Winter and loss; a metaphor for this time when happiness and sadness exist side by side, and for the clarity those losses sometimes bring.

Prayers for everyone enduring loss to find the beauty that lies beneath, and the courage to clear away what clutters the landscape.


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