Mother’s Day Thoughts …. Mug a Mother

She gave you life, and you’re getting her a coffee mug?

Oprah’s Headline next to the rumoured fear that Prince Harry’s wedding would be canceled due to bridal fears. It’s the Mother’s Day weekend and I know this can be a day of mixed emotions. It would be wonderful to share a special coffee mug with my mother, but this will be the first Mother’s Day without her … while it is easier to saintify your mother’s once she’s have passed on; I’m sharing a tribute my daughter sent for the funeral ten weeks ago.

From this granddaughter’s perspective, we need a little more Margaret on this earth…

In MY world—of juggling a hundred commitments to a thousand people in a million places,

We need people who just Show Up and are fully present. Right here, right now, every time.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world—of dreaming big dreams, traveling to exotic places and achieving amazing feats,

We need people who can delight in the mundane and find joy in the ordinary.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world—where me-time, introspective self-analysis and often-hasty critique of others consumes heaps of our head space,

We need people who can breathe deep gulps of faith and just get on with it.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world—where my dreams and my goals and my vacations and house and opinions and achievements and my, my, my, my… are the accepted life-goals of the day,

We need people who graciously shine the spotlight on others and enthusiastically elevate those around them.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world—where dodging discomfort and avoiding suffering has become a pursuit at all costs,

We need people who grope for gratitude in the darkness and make the hard choice to stick it out for the benefit of others.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world—of unprecedented affluence and options and any-dream-can-be-your-reality,

We need people who sometimes just pull up their raggedy boots of courage and walk the path in front of them.

     That’s what my grandma did.

In my world where finding oneself has become of utmost importance,

We need people who are OK with just being themselves.

     That’s who my grandma was.

From this granddaughter’s perspective, we need a little more Margaret on this earth…

Happy Mother’s Day for those of you mothers … if you still have a mother on the planet, I hope you have a chance to talk to her.

Motherhood is a high calling.

Lessons from Crutches

Lessons from Crutches …

Riding up the ski slopes on a snowmobile had never been on my bucket list. But being pro-active in life, I check-marked that experience even before it got on the list. The beauty of the mountains were subdued by a ski induced knee fracture. And now crutches, and other devices are temporarily part of my day to day activity.

When I was sixteen, my five-years-older-than-I sister headed back to university after a weekend at home. I worried for her safety because she was traveling an hour and a half in a severe prairie snowstorm. My stomach twisted tight as visibility reduced, and I was afraid because I had recently been saved at an evangelistic meeting. As my sister drove into the city, I bargained with God promising that if she would make it safely, I would send her a letter. I don’t remember my exact words, but I’m fairly certain I included a salvation option with the fire insurance policy. Likely I tossed in a four spiritual laws gospel tract for good measure. I’m not sure if she responded by mail, or in person the next time we met. But, bolstered by her university secular insight, she suggested that she was fine and if I needed religion as my crutch that was also fine. She assured me she did not. Nearly forty-seven years later I recall that reference to a crutch as I am hobbling about the house after my ski injury.

And I have come to appreciate the value of a crutch. Technically I’m not even supposed to let my left big toe touch the ground, and I am not strong enough to stand on one foot all day. In fact I need two crutches. By definition crutch means:

a long stick with a crosspiece at the top, used as a support under the armpit by a lame [yes they use the word lame] person, a thing used for support or reassurance.

And I am feeling rather lame. It’s lame that I can’t brush my teeth without wobbling. It’s lame that going up three stairs causes me to rethink where I will go. It’s lame that the auto doors at the grocery store almost knocked out my left crutch, causing a near face plant into bananas. But, I am glad that I have some thing for support and reassurance. I’m also kind of curious as to what kinds of things people use as crutches to prop them up. Drugs, alcohol, religion and technology appear the easy ones to pick on. What about our over busy-ness? That might not be a crutch, it might just be a way of avoiding ourselves. Why does the idea of a crutch carry a negative undertone? 

 

At the beginning of a small self pity episode, my husband kindly reminded me that prior to the G-2 knee brace (that has become my new best friend) I would have been in a full leg cast, from upper thigh to ankle for six to eight weeks. Try that on for size. Over a decade ago after a profound loss, in a time of deep grieving, I expressed to those around me, that people with a physical injury knew what type and length of recovery process to expect. But, neither grief, nor long term illness has the benefit of a well defined time period. I am very aware that I can expect a full return to activity, granted I am in my sixties and likely will have a stiff knee, but I still hope to ski again. Shattered dreams this is not, by comparison to what some Canadian hockey families are going through. Many crutches and supportive communities are needed for restoration of that magnitude. We often don’t know what to say other than that: Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Spring is in the air, although with reluctance. On a day like today, I breathe deep, feeling very grateful that there is much to be thankful for, many moments to laugh at myself and most importantly, that it is okay to use crutches for this crazy thing we call life. We all need somebody to lean on.

Here’s the lean on me song … Playing for change, song around the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiouJsnYytI

In the month of April, Jocelyn is offering a complimentary copy of her book on grief: Who is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.  Contact her at jbmarietalking@gmail.com

 

What are you waiting for?

Summer is not waiting for me to catch up, I must catch her. This is the only summer of 2016, realize how precious and fleeting she is. Hold her hand, dance in her flower meadows … laugh with a child, blow bubbles, sprinkle in the water, dip your toes in and get wet. Don’t waste a single moment. When the heart is light, this advice is easy to take, when the heart is heavy, laughing and dancing seem far away.

But I have discovered that as I choose to smile, to dance to dawdle … to breathe in the mountain air,IMG_1541 something happens to me …  a revitalization, a realization that life still has much beauty to unfold. When beauty asks me to dance, I should get off the couch.

Beauty is found everywhere, it is ours for the viewing, ours for participating in. It has a way of enlarging the soul. I was talking to my 92 year old mother, who enjoys the view of two large poplar trees from her deck, that and her flower pots are what make her smile on a summer day as she sits in the sunshine. And then she will say, before you know it, the snow will be coming. Oh yes, so for this day I ask you the question Mary Oliver has in her poem …

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?IMG_0375
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Breathe in the prayer of summertime and exhale joy … Happy Summer!

IMG_8990“So you must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow.” 

Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

Kayaking photo by Catherine-thanks.

There’s Always Something …

IMG_8892There’s always something …

In the midst of spring’s great expectations, both a wild fire rages and a fridge breaks down. And I can tell you I’d choose a fridge breakdown over the flames any and every day.

It’s also Mother’s Day weekend, and I know that many women dread this day, along with its suitcase of hidden pains and unmet longings.

I hope my daughter calls, but she lives in a country that does not recognize this Hallmark Day. She is also a busy mother and I will try to call her; as I do want to acknowledge the fantastic job she is doing of raising my grandchildren. My surrogate (official definition: a substitute, especially a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office) daughter in Australia, has asked for my mailing address so she can send me something. I don’t need or want a gift I tell her, I would just like a conversation. What I would really like is the connection with the two that don’t call anymore, but like many other Moms, that catching up will have to wait for heaven. Over the years, I’ve heard many of the sadnesses women express over Mother’s Day: the sadness of remaining childless, the sadness of children buried, the sadness of rocky relationships with children. The pain is always greater for the mother separated from a child, than for the child. A little piece of the mother heart goes to each child; and when that daughter has her own children, she will understand the way a mamma’s heart gets divvied up.

This week I had a delightful mother/child encounter while biking the Rocky Mountain Legacy trail, from Canmore to Banff. About half-way, Parks Canada has set up two lovely red lawn chairs; I decided to stop on the return trip, to sit and take in the view. As I arrive to the red chairs, I see that a trio has also just stopped and it looks as though we might both be IMG_4257heading for the chairs. I take one, as a mother plops her little one in the other, and we both take photos. She offers to take my picture, I agree. She sets her drink down on the adjoining arm rest, I say “I’ll raise the cider. I’m sending this to my sister that joined me on this trail last year, she’ll like the drink addition.” After she takes my photo-I reciprocate the offer. The three moms scurry the young ones …  scatter the kids amongst themselves, raise their drinks and I keep shooting. “Look this way, say cheese, do the cheer. How about one from the back, so we see the mountains?” After thanking me, they ask if I’d like the fourth cider. “They came in a pack of four so we do have an extra.”

Yes, I say, that would be great.”

I discover they met in prenatal classes just over a year ago. Then the interesting birthing stories began. Two of them had C-sections. As a former nurse, I asked a few questions. “Were you disappointed to end up with a C-section?” Not really “Did you have a doula?” One had. “Is this your first mother’s day?” Yes.

To Danika, Jessica, Adrianna and all the other first time moms—Happy Mother’s Day to you!

For those with a first sad Mother’s Day—May you be encouraged. You gave the world something beautiful, and you yourself are a better person for that. To the mature mothers & grandmothers: Let’s encourage the young moms. The pressures put on moms can be overwhelming, stifling and self-diminishing. The blend of home, career and parenting is a daunting task, even more challenging than it was in our day.

Adrianna asked about my mothering experience. After briefly explaining my loss, they knew I meant when I said what I have held to be true for a long time: “Motherhood is a high calling. Spend as much time as you can, because you never know what the future holds.”

There is always something … and the forest fire rages in Northern Alberta, while my fridge has been fixed and has resumed its cooling.

Mother’s Day flowers found near Canmore—a special treat: Wild Orchids.IMG_8898

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head- Grief as an Out of Body Experience

Thoughts from A-Broad

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. Gustave Flaubert

People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home. Dagobert D. RunesDSC_0186

When I was a child I spoke like I child, I acted like a child, but when I became an adult, I stayed in the neighbourhood, I dwelt in the safety zone … until one day … I left, I realized there was more to life than security.

My daughter expresses continual surprise at how different the childhood of her children is, as compared to her own. My daughter went to the same elementary school as I had. (I think most of the teachers had left by then.)

My grandchildren live in North Africa, in a country with French as the second language, after Arabic. Minimal English is spoken in their Muslim neighbourhood. My nine year old grand-daughter rises grumpily for an 8am start at a local private school. Do not think Western style private school. The reason my granddaughter had been keen on this school was because this one had real washrooms, not a converted house bathroom that still had a bath-tub; there were four stalls for girls and four stalls for boys.

IMG_3193It was with great fanfare and delight that I initiated a doubles ride on the single speed bicycle as a way of getting her to school fairly quickly, which was very important last year when she was an eight year old who dawdled efficiently. “We are rocking the hood,” I said to her, as we pedalled the sandy partially paved street, dodging large stones and garbage. She perched on the mounted rear rack keeping her feet slightly apart, holding on to my seat with as firm a grip as her still small fingers could. Like clockwork, our traveling bicycle circus passed the local high school at their arrival time, forcing us to navigate at least two hundred students crossing the street. The head-scarfed girls were thrilled to say a bonjour-presuming I must be French. That day as we pedalled, I responded to a few of the greetings with a smile and either Allo or bonjour. Some of the boys made comments and my granddaughter said “Grandma they’re making fun of us, let’s just get out of here.” As I could not understand the Arabic comments, and saw only smiles and laughter in eyes; I didn’t think they were making fun of us. We were a novelty in their monolithic landscape, this mature blonde woman, with red streaks in her hair. (She couldn’t be a grandmother, for grandmothers would be fully covered in their long jellabas, and never on a bicycle.)

Don’t worry Maisha,” I said, “they’re not being unkind. They’re just not comfortable in their own skin.”

I don’t get it … You’re not a snake grandma, you don’t shed your skin. What do you mean?”

Sometimes people aren’t comfortable with who they are, and then they make fun of other people, to feel better. If you feel okay about who you are, you don’t have to make fun of other people.”

Ah, my dear girl, (I thought) perhaps shedding skin is exactly what we need to do to become who we wantIMG_4854 to be.

Mark Twain’s words ring true: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, especially as one shares peanut laden strong tea with new friends. 

Jocelyn is the author of Who Is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.

Love & Windshield Wipers

f6798d30fd0625f6e1e9d364172acfe9_ft_xlLove is a Many Splendoured Thing.

My friend said I needed new windshield wipers. She is the friend who changes the oil on my car, so I listen to her. She is my only female friend who is more interested in what goes on under the hood, than what we wear. I have confessed to her that I have never changed a tire, and I don’t want to.

Tis the cupid weekend … where we could buy into the notion that love is equated with chocolate, red roses and wine.

Love is a many splendoured thing.

This same friend told me where to get new windshield wipers and she offered to change them for me. She said, “If you don’t know what to get, the guys at Costco will help you find the right ones.”

I go immediately to the automotive desk … “Can I help you?”

I say, “I hope so.” He types in my vehicle specifications on his computer, and match.com tells him what I need. He points me to the aisle they are located, looks at my hair colour and confused eyes, and decides to personally escort me to the windshield-wiper spot. I had no idea that the driver side of my window calls for a 22” wiper while the passenger side is 3” shorter.

Who would have thought there were this many options. “These are the best,” he says, “and they’re on sale” … My ears perk up with the word sale-I am a well trained female shopper. A momentary bright spot in the search. Alas, my sizes are not included in the sale.  (I am wondering whether I should buy the ones on sale and try to make them fit? What difference does an inch make? In fact two of the sale size would almost equal the original sum?)

He hands me two top quality ones, top non-sale price.

It’s almost spring, do I need these that will work at minus 40?”

He tells me I’ll want to swap them out in summer. I say I don’t plan to. Well then I don’t have to, these will be good in summer. Likely overkill. Mr Sales-guy moves on after I thank him. What about all-season ones?  f6798d30fd0625f6e1e9d364172acfe9_ft_xlI compromise and buy top end for the driver side, and all season for the passenger. What does love have to do with wipers?

Is there an all season love? Or do I have to switch out for a new season? Recently on a ski excursion with my neighbours … she said that most of us will experience three major loves. The first love, the most passionate, the one we have children with. I forget the specifics of the middle one, and finally the one to grow old with. She looks at her husband, and says I guess you’re him.

I’m fortunate to come from an area where many couples do not switch out for a new season. My older sister married out of high school and has been married for 50 years. And they still do the best rockn’roll jive I have ever seen. At this stage I have also discovered the splendour of love with grand-children.

Love is a many splendoured thingIMG_1335

And whether you have experienced it for a life-time or a season, I wish you love in your life. And good wiper blades which like love: clear the view, open your eyes to beauty, and improve the quality of the trip.

Two love songs to share for Valentine’s Day …

One from jjheller—a beautiful song that asks Who will love me for me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw_x99vyIC4

The other from the group Mashmakhan from 1970. True love will never die.

Love of Advent-ure

4thadventimagesIf, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.  (Anonymous, but quoted by Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance)

What does it feel like to be loved?

The question is asked of my daughter who lives with her husband and three small children in a N African Islamic country. The lady who poses the question is heavy with her third child. Last December I joined my daughter to invite neighbours to attend a Ladies event to experience the flavour of a Canadian Christmas. In this country they do not celebrate December 25th, they do not get caught up in ribbons and bows, in getting the right turkey, the right gifts … they do that for other cultural events. As we spread the word about the party, one of the ladies said “everyone wants to be at her house.” It is a house of welcome, of lightIMG_0456 and love. This year, I could not be there and encouraged my daughter in whatever way I could, mainly prayer from wintery Canada. She is eight hours ahead, it was early Friday afternoon that the first details came through: “a house full of women, rich conversation, laughter, fun, food.” Via WhatsApp she said “And one pregnant woman who did not have the two dinars (about a dollar) for a taxi ride, walked seven kilometres to come.” I was moved to tears to read that. That woman walked seven kms because she felt loved and accepted by my daughter. My daughter does not preach, she invests herself into their lives … she cares, she also gives this woman a ride home.

What does it feel like to be loved? Three weeks ago, I heard a fable by Max Lucado. This is now my retelling of his telling … As the prince rode throughout the land, he took note of a peasant woman, he fell in love with her … he proposed marriage. She wanted to refuse … how could he love her, he lived in a castle, she was just a common woman. He insisted that He loved her for who she was, and he wanted to marry her. She still responded in doubt, but as he seemed quite persistant, she said,  she could cook and clean for him, and bear his children … He said, “I do not want you because you can cook and clean, and bear children. I want you to be my wife because I love you” …. They married; she cooked and cleaned and bore his children, but somehow she never trusted his love. In the end she left him, and said to one of her friends, “I never really felt that he loved me.”  

IMG_0419Something stirred my heart at this story as I have often wondered IF God, who says He is love, could love me? What does it feel like to be loved by the creator of the universe? I have learned that grief does not feel like love …. but the question hangs in the air. Do actions speak louder than words? I do believe that Christmas is Love in Action.

How will I spend the final advent hours? May I take time to feel the desert wind, to gaze at a star and to ponder the birth of new understanding. The final word is Immanuel, God with us, through each season of life, through the longing and the filling, in the journey through the desert. 

Why settle for tinsel, when we are offered the kingdom? 

DSC_0062

Jocelyn is the Author of Who is Talking out of My Head-Grief as an Out of Body Experience

Summertime Blues (the cure)

We unlearn desire. Quietly, over time, we succumb to the dependable script of the expected life and become masters of the middle way … after a while we no longer even notice the pathways off to the side … John O’Donohue (Beauty)

The summer is almost over,” my 91 year old mother declares with authority on our weekly Sunday IMG_4182phone call. I already know her next line: “Before you know it, it’s going to snow. It will be Christmas.”

A writing course had occupied my spring and when I hit “Submit” for my final paper on June 30, I also hit “Break Free” for the summer … and here she states the truth: Summer is Short.

In Canada it is very short, and also the reason it is full of outdoor activity. Canadians know its brevity. As if to verify my mother’s words the picture of last September’s snow came to mind. For the sake of the course, I had put off my summer and now my days were numbered.

Three days ago I picked up a friend from the airport, who is returning to be in the presence of an aunt in the final stages of cancer. The struggle was closing in. Last summer, another dear friend lost the battle with a heart issue, her family motherless before the end of August.

Oh the summertime blues. The life time blues … it comes and it goes. Life, breath, beauty, flowers, illness and departure; like the river current moving toward a final destiny.

My own grandchildren come to visit in a week. I have been anticipating this time for what seems ages, and before I write my next blog that moment-in-the-sun will have passed.

The elusive speedy nature has me either lamenting or rejoicing.

So what will I do now that the summer is almost over? … I plan to enjoy every remaining moment as much as I can. It begins with cleaning off of my small patio, setting up the deck water fountain, planting the flowers I got on the end of the season sale.

I want to build good memories that will warm those cold winter days. I want to connect with nature as much as I can. Listen to the music. Enjoy the richness with those that cross my path. There is only one summer of 2015. I want to smell the flowers.

Above all else, I want to practice gratitude.

IMG_4084That gratitude that started July first, where in a moment of unprecedented Canadian patriotism, I joined a small town crowd for the raising of the flag, the singing of Oh Canada, the picture taking with two handsome red-suited mounties. To quote my mother: “I am so thankful for the country that we live in.” She is thankful; she has health care, she feels looked after. She feels safe. My only on-the-planet daughter lives in a region where recent terrorism has taken a deadly toll.

Below a black squirrel hops across the traffic filled street, only mindful that he needs to live in this summer moment, oblivious to the cars that will soon sweep his path … he pauses in the middle of the street, I think he winks at me and scurries to his destination. My pot of recently planted petunias smile at me in shades of blue-lavender. A dahlia from a friend adds the exclamation mark.

Life like summer is brief.  Gratitude precedes the joy … The thunder heads will roll in, we had hail on Saturday, but for this moment, this brief spell, I want to Be in The Beauty, the beauty of a summer morning ripe with anticipation.

Earth Beauty, Ever Ancient, Ever New

For the Beauty of the earth, Ever ancient, ever new …

IMG_2877

It’s International Earth Day … and I recall an answer I have given to people:

There are many things in my life that I would not have chosen, but there is still much beauty in this world.

 

IMG_1583

The most universal gift is the beauty all around us. In my travels I have never come to a place bereft of beauty. Even though garbage littered, the dusty less than desirable path on the way to my grandchildren’s school in N Africa … it had been named the secret garden. After a spatter of rain, it burst forth with yellow blossoms … Dump turned flower garden! The eyes of children opened mine to see beauty in the midst of ugly.

Everyone has stuff, something that could be better … a deviation not chosen, and the heart grows weary with constant struggle. John O’Donohue, an Irish poet/theologian has written about beauty:

Much of the stress and emptiness that haunts us can be traced back to our lack of attention to beauty. Internally, the mind becomes coarse and dull if it remains unvisited by images and thoughts which hold the radiance of beauty. … Beauty offers us an invitation to order, coherence and unity.

IMG_2879Although my home province Manitoba claims the prairie crocus as its provincial flower, I saw very few wild ones there … but here in Alberta, perhaps with more uncultivated soil, they are more prevalent. I have been admiring them since Easter Monday … they are my current heroes. While snow lingers they push through dead grasses and debris of winter to breathe hope into the soul. The fragile flower displays an inner strength  adding its blue lavender beauty to the landscape, the first delights of spring.  Other wild flowers soon follow suit.

To behold beauty dignifies your life; it heals you and calls you out beyond the smallness of your own self-limitations to experience new horizons. To experience beauty is to have your life enlarged.   John O’Donohue

This is the 45th international Earth Day … a reason to celebrate. Get out and enjoy the beauty, dig in the dirt, pick up some garbage, be barefoot, look for signs of spring, go for a walk. Smile.apollo8-earthrise

Earth rises above the lunar horizon against the backdrop of deep space on Dec. 24, 1968. the image, snapped by astronaut Bill Anders during the first manned mission to the moon, evokes both a sense of solitude and intimacy. From livescience.

Beauty The Invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue, HarperCollins, 2005

 

Pushing Through to Pushing up Daisies

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes that see reality.IMG_0001

Nikos Kazantzakis

Daffodil tips have poked through dry ground outside my front entrance. My first robins were spotted today, and this past week the early skies have debuted with fifty shades of sunrise on at least five separate days. As I type this a mourning dove perches on my patio, seeking a quieter spot out of the wind. A video clip sent yesterday with my grand children waving palm branches; all the above tell me that spring and the Easter season are here.

For the past few weeks my mind has been debating ideas for an upcoming talk I have been asked to give to college age students … What do I have to say to them on the topic of Through Thick and Thin, that they can connect to? My guess is that the majority of them have not been through major life difficulties, yet … or have they?

At this point they are busy pushing through their studies to get on with real life. A misconception … real life is wherever you are, at the moment, now. It is not in the future. The dilemma is—how do I prepare for the future while living /keeping the focus on the present? This is a never ending debate, and for them it would come from someone considered to have more years in history, than in futures. And yet both the young and the more mature—I can’t bring myself to say old—have only this day. I hear the challenge repeatedly to live in the now … and still I find myself pushing through this moment, in order to arrive at the next. Only to find that the next thing is what I then push through.

Childhood offers a reprieve from the tyranny to push through, largely because the parents do the pushing. The goal to get through teething, sleeping through the night, toilet training, talking, starting school, getting through junior high, and so on and on. Adults perpetuate the myth that the next phase will be better, forfeiting the joy of today. And the cycle continues … as we live in anticipation or dread of the next thing.

At the local garden nursery this week on a no wind, fifteen degree sunshine spring day, I made a comment to the owner as he packed up my purchase –Isn’t it a gorgeous day? Must be good for business, it gets people thinking about gardens early. Without a smile, it was “Well as long as we get some good weather, when we’re supposed to get it, doesn’t help much now.” 

Before I start to push up daisies, I want to smell and plant the roses.primaryImage_opt

The one time I recommend pushing through is in grief, or a very difficult time, even though much can be learned in hardship. We long for spring to push back the winter of the soul. Pushing through doubts and disappointments make it possible to discover a foundation of faith and food for the soul.

Sunday morning I heard the question asked—why was much hype made over Christmas, while Easter was played down? Wasn’t this the final exclamation point the followers of Jesus had? Yes it was … what the resurrection did was It pushed through death. And that has made all the difference, especially for those who have experienced grief.  Easter week Blessings!

Daisy image from:  http://isleofwight.com/whats-on/pushing-up-the-daisies

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking out of My Head?  Grief as an Out of Body Experience