Spring has always been my favorite season. Who wouldn't love watching green emerge almost overnight from brown limbs that appear dead? Or from waiting and watching for signs of spotted fawns being born in your yard and of hearing the thrum of the bees flowing in and out of the blossoms in their own frenzied spring dance? Being surrounded by and learning the lessons of death, grief, and sadness I find that spring has arrived without the normal yearning and anticipation of years past. In spite of this, I have felt the pull to clean out the physical manifestation of the past that is preventing me from springing forward into a rebirthed version of myself.
How long to hold onto job descriptions from the job you almost, but did not, get? Or the the tiny collected objects which used to hold so much meaning but now only hold years of dust? My fiance and I have spent the past three weeks completely and utterly cleaning out the past through the throwing out, passing on, and donation of the objects and items holding us down like wisteria tendrils clinging to our feet, preventing us from moving forward. Culling out the physical past uncovers a mountain of memories in an unexpected rubble of emotional memories. Choosing to let go of the objects helps to let go of the past.
Some items made it quickly to the trash or donate boxes. Yet others clung to my hands as if they were sentient beings with claws bearing down into my palms. Learning to let go is never an easy thing to do, but I am finding that it is an important part of life. Buried beneath piles of manuscript rejection letters I uncovered my IC diaries. As I read my words written so long ago I could feel the pine cone stuck in my private parts and I felt that my bladder was filling with glass shards. Afraid to forget the feeling of IC I found that I could not throw out the IC diaries. Some things are meant to be kept and reexperienced in order to appreciate the present and to look forward to the future.
Although I know the unusual novel sent to me by my dear friend J.P. who passed away is not her, I find that I cannot part with the physical remainder of the time she sent me the book for my birthday. Seeing the book I can hear her laughter and her advice about IC treatments and relationships. Time does not heal wounds, just like in the spring not everything comes back after a long cold winter. I guess some things are meant to die to allow something else to bloom at its fullest effect. Knowing and appreciating the cycle of life does not get easier with age but it does make the death of a loved one
The rebirth that occurs during the spring season and during moments of cleaning and reorganizing your life is very profound. I find that I have become a little numb to the happenings to the rest of the world as I shuffle through the papers and objects of my past as I come closer to my present, and more importantly, to my future. And just when I thought the past had been cleared out and that I had dealt with the loss of J.P. and of our beautiful yellow cat Oliver, out of the piles and the chaos: a hand-written note on exquisite stationery and later, a white whisker the length of my hand, appears and the grief of loss bubbles up again, to match the sap rising in the trees.
Rebirth is not an easy process but I am learning it is an important process. As spring continues to unfurl around me I will try to embrace the lessons I am learning and hold dear the friends and the moments in life with the deepest meaning. Everything else fades away. Just like the dead leaves of winter mysteriously disappear in the green of spring and summer things that no longer have meaning fade away. J.P. and Oliver are still a part of who I am and their memory will always be part of who I becoming thanks to the beauty of their love and their friendship. This spring I will honor each of them by planting flowers in their memory. And in honor of the lessons that IC has taught me I will plant the bladder shaped bulbs of the iris. Only the darkest shade of purple will do for you, IC. My garden will be rebirthed with new blooms created out of the love, hard lessons, and remembrance of my past.