Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't Give Up

During January in our part of the world, days are short and smog obscures the sun most of the time. We long to see a glimmer of light, and when the sun appears, even for a moment or two, we rejoice. Light gladdens the heart and lifts the spirits.

This winter has been particularly dark. Although I have tried to practice mindfulness, at times I have felt gloomy, longing for sunny, warm days. Instead of feeling content with the myriad blessings surrounding me, I find it easy to focus on what I lack: sunshine.

Since I’m a person who really needs light, winter can be difficult at times. I spoke with a friend who told me her canaries cannot lay eggs unless they have full spectrum light. I don’t want to lay any eggs, but I’d love to sit outside and bask in the sun. I miss it.

Yet, with time, spring come. Days lengthen. Cold, winter days transform into balmy, summer days. It is the circle of life.

Last year I buried two dear friends. Yesterday I learned by brother is fighting for his life. He is old, and his body is wracked with cancer, but he hates to leave his dear wife, who has been his beloved companion for over sixty years. Life is difficult, filled with good-byes and disappointments, but it has its seasons, too.

Spring, filled with hope and the innocence of youth, becomes summer, a busy, joyful time of gardening, pruning, and weeding. Suddenly, we find we are in the autumnal season, harvesting the bounty of the seeds we have planted. When love is sown, we reap happiness. When kindness is sown, we reap peace.

Then winter descends. The earth in our neighborhood is covered with snow, which sparkles like diamonds in the moonlight. Flowers blooms fade. Plants die. The earth appears barren and cold. But hidden beneath the earth are seeds waiting to germinate. Leaves will soon grow on the stark branches of our maple, aspen, and flowering pear trees. Roses will bloom again.

So, today, for anyone reading this, who feels discouraged, remember just as that seasons continually change, this, too, will pass. If you feel overwhelmed with sorrow or despair, please don't give up. The Light of the world waits to help you. Just ask.

© Carol Brown

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