Happy Spring Friends,
It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. My creativity has been diverted into poetry, most of which is not fit for public consumption.This happens sometimes when I am in the liminal space between projects, reserving energy and words for future output.
But I’ve missed writing to you. So I’m sharing with you the only thing I can. It may seem an odd choice of theme for the first day of Spring but it was inspired by painful anniversaries some friends are moving through, and something Rachel Manetti wrote in her most recent newsletter. (Thank you, Rachel.)
It is difficult to be present to another’s pain because we feel at best powerless over it, at worst, annoyed. This can translate into well meaning but callous remarks that inflict unintended shame on the person in pain. For instance, more than a decade ago a friend survived an attack. Now that day brings energetic reminders that start weeks ahead of time. To say, “It’s just a day. Don’t let the calendar rule you,” doesn’t help.
Yes, that is true. It is just a day. And we don’t have to let the anniversary of one event ruin that single day for a lifetime. We can choose what to do with or on that day. But our emotions, our times of anger and grief and wailing, they choose themselves.
Think of it this way, we are quick to celebrate the demarkation of days that brought us joy. We savor the cycle of nature’s seasons because it brings connectivity to our lives. But marking the days that brought us pain? How deeply we feel them, and how easy they are to dismiss in others.
On the Spring Equinox when we celebrate a day of equal parts light and dark may this poem help you create space in your own life to feel what needs to be felt, to hold that same space for others, and in doing so, participate in rebirth.
Today is the not the day of the
thing that hurt you.
You rise and eat and bathe.
But you are not being hurt the way
you were on this day one year ago.
Two years ago.
Still, the pain is real and resides
in the unseen parts
of your soul that remember
whether or not there was rain
and how the earth smelled even if
those details cannot be recalled.
Your soul knows this and notes it
on a calendar in your heart so
when the day comes around again
you can remember and be healed.
Photo © Melinda Thomas