"Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom." ~ Rumi
For the first time ever, or that I can recall anyway, as I stare at the wilted, frozen, dead flowers and plants in the pots on my deck and I look up at the trees that were rich and vibrant in their autumn hues of oranges and golds just a week or so ago and are now nearly barren, stark, colorless, and cold I'm feeling a deep, deep sadness and grief. I feel as if I somehow failed in protecting them and keeping them alive even though I know they've done their part, I've done mine, and they must go through their own natural cycle of life and death. I remind myself I can't save anyone or anything but myself. I remind myself spring always follows winter.
Normally, I go with the flow of the seasons and of letting go, of death and darkness and trust in rebirth with a knowing acceptance, appreciation and respect for the cycles of change. I will get there again in time but for now I'm acutely aware of how deep the well of grief is that I feel around loss and heartbreak of hopes and dreams right now, collectively and personally. Most assuredly, on the heels of the mid-term election and the "red wave" across the country and my own state choosing to continue to be run and destroyed from the inside out through extreme right wing governing, the politics of our country causes me deep despair. This despair is not because I need to be right or be in power or fight against another to prove myself. I don't want to fight anybody. This is because I love and care deeply for my family, my fellow man, for our country, for our earth and for our children and the generations yet to come. I'm deeply concerned about how far to the extreme right we've gone and what consequences we will suffer as we go from here until we finally reach a breakthrough. Yes, breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. We are still breaking down and the breakthrough could be our total demise. Time will tell where we go from here and how or if we will survive it. Those who insist on living in fear, choosing greed and power for power's sake, and casting the blame on the innocent are now in charge and there will be no one to point their fingers at any longer. They will be pointing back at themselves and their fists of power will be self-imploding. I take no pleasure in that. I don't need someone else to fail in order to create success. But there are those who only know that way. I will do the only thing I can do which is continue to stand strong for what I believe in which is "humanity, love and peace".
The breakdown of our world, of our country, of families and society, of our physical bodies, of our planet earth...all of it seems to be crashing in at once in my heart and soul and around me and for the first time ever the harbinger of winter feels ominous, disheartening and heart-breaking. I don't think I've ever really grieved for winter and all the beauty and hopes and dreams that die with it. But death is real, it happens every day and grief and grieving cleanses the soul of the loss and pain of death. I guess it's my time and my turn to grieve. Perhaps it's our time to grieve again as a nation. Marianne Williamson said this today and it hit home for me: "Note to progressives: Don't panic. Grieve. Only then can we discover what really went wrong and gain the wisdom to make things right." So grieve I shall. If I don't it will just get stuck in my heart and I will become bitter and it will get hung up in my throat and I will lose my voice completely. I've worked too long and too hard to move past fear, to finally open my heart and speak my voice. There's no turning back for me, no matter how broken-hearted I am. As our Native Americans have said in their great wisdom, "The soul would have no rainbows if the eyes had no tears". Surely my tears will help build a rainbow.