Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moments of Lightness

I've been having difficulty putting together a post these past few weeks. I have resisted writing because I know that whatever I write now will be tainted by the darkness that is nipping at the edges of my life. The winter has taken it's toll on me. That, combined with three deaths now, in the past month.
Three wakes, three burials, the light of three lives now missing from this world, and as always, the cold and darkness of a northern January are weighing heavily on me.

Though we speak or exchange emails about once a week, I never really recovered from the loss of the relationship I once had with my daughter that happened as she approached adulthood. This grief is a constant pain that I bear, but never more so than in this dark season.

I know that my fascination with television shows like Forensic Files and Paranormal State probably contributes to my dark moods. It seems that these dark subjects are the only things that capture my interest in these gray days.
I've been reluctant to post something depressing or excessively negative; it feels self-indulgent and I know it doesn't do anyone any good. Who wants to read things that bring you down? So I decided to write instead about the moments of lightness that sustain me as I struggle to navigate this dark sea.

I thought I should write about the smell of the crysanthemums that decorate our church, and how the light looks as it filters through the stained glass above the altar. Or, the way the winter sun feels on my back when I walk the side streets of our town on weekend afternoons.

I have my husband, who is my best friend, to rely on. I have the knowledge that my children are healthy and employed.

Although they are growing old and their siblings are dying now, I still have both my parents.
I have all my brothers and my sister, their wives and husbands, my brothers and sisters in law, and their children, my nieces and nephews, who provide laughter, camaraderie and support.

There are the mourning doves that forage at the edge of the woods behind the barn, taking flight with a whistling flurry of wings when I appear. And the troupe of house sparrows that occupy the forsythia hedge next to our garage; how their gentle chirping lifts my spirits in the early mornings, as I walk Rigby out to the back yard.

Speaking of Rigby, I have only to see her smiling, brown, button eyes or hear her contented sigh as she snuggles next to me for a nap, to feel comforted.
Her sweet face and precious spirit is a constant and powerful source of grace in my life. Although they now require a lot of medical attention, my aging cats still have the ability to give and receive an enormous amount of affection.

I have the rising and setting of the sun, the colors of deep rose and amber and lavender mingling on the horizon, and the crescent moon, like a Cheshire cat grin, hanging in the western sky at night. I have the constellation Orion, moving from the south to the west, holding his bow, foretelling the coming of spring, making a promise.

I have coffee in the morning, hot, dark and rich, and cool green tea at night.

And tomorrow, I have a new job to start. For better or worse, it will be a new experience; God willing, it will prove to be a new source of satisfaction and fulfillment.

photo courtesey of J.Choate, 2008


  1. I'm reminded of an old hymn: "When upon the journey you are tempest tossed. When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost. Count your many blessings, name them, one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

    Good job. It's hard to swim against the current of gloom, but it's better than drowning. Sometimes, all you can do is tread water. You're doing more than that.

    Sometimes posts tend toward the melancholy... it is what it is. So human!

    But then... we get to choose hope... we get to kindle a fire of optimism... a spark of gratitude. And we hold on til Spring! (Or we move to California!) ;-)

    I like your list. You built yourself a nice fire.

  2. Aw, Deedee. Been there. Actually what you describe is my January from 2009. I can't come up with anything good to say that isn't a platitude so all I'm going to say is that good meaningful things will happen soon, they will.

    I've been very blue for a couple weeks and just figured out today after I had been out stomping on my Kansas land, sunshine will totally transform the darkness inside my head to something with a lot of hope and energy. When you have lunch tomorrow, try to spend some time outdoors. Sunshine is an amazing healer.

    And good luck on your new job tomorrow!!!!!!! That's exciting. :-)

  3. Hi Deedee
    I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through some dark times at the I'm sending you some healing thoughts from across the pond...I too have a Daughter, our only child..and we have always been very friends in fact, but lately she has been slowly drifting away and as you say the grief can be unbearable. So I know exactly how you feel....I am not looking forward to the day she flys the nest, but I know that she has he own life to live....
    Anyway GOOD LUCK with your new job Deedee.
    Love and light
    Julie xx

  4. Oh Deedee, hold on to those moments of lightness. They will help you hold on through the darkness. I won't say how I know, I just do. Hey I love those kind of shows. I don't have trouble with them darkening my life though. I think I'm intirgued by them and of course hubby being a cop is one of the reasons I like Forensic files. Did you ever see the one about the girl in Idaho who killed her parents.Her dad was my collegue at work. We worked together for six years.Such a sad loss for everyone who knew Alan. It was an interesting show about how the case was solved.
    I do hope things go great at the new job.

  5. Hi DeeDee! Sending massive hugs!!! How wonderful that you could turn it around (it being the darkness) and open your eyes to all that is around you to be grateful for - gratitude in times like this is a bridge back to joy!

    You gravitate to low vibrational frequencies when you are down - hence the "dark" shows, which I wouldn't recommend to ANYone! If you read Eckhart Tolle and a few others like him, and if you study the brain with Joe Dispenza, there really IS something to letting the scenes of violence in your head, a negative influence. I used to be addicted to the crime stuff until I read about this and tried HGTV at night instead - or anything non-violent - what a difference it's made. I can keep the joy/love/peace going 24 hrs! It's worth a try!

  6. Deedee...! A new job...! Congratulations. goodness.

    You know, I went through a terrible depression such as the one you are going through. I managed to pull myself out of it by buying tulips every few days and putting them on my cofee table where I could look at them. All of a sudden the days started getting bright, and I started getting my joy of life back. Find some small thing that brings you happiness, and concentrate on that. Slowly you will begin to join the world again.

    We all suffer from this four-letter word called "life".

    I hope you feel better soon.



  7. Absolutely make the effort for the lightness of being. We must not nurture the darkness, it always seems to have the strength to return. Acceptance is the hardest aspect of my life..I so wish for the blessing of a weekly email..that would be heaven to me..funny...
    Guess that's why we say, dying is easy, comedy is hard...Good luck with the new job!

  8. Hope your first week went well.

    I think the stars must be in the wrong place at the moment. There seems to be so much doom and gloom about. Let us hope it signifies the start of a new and brighter period for you and yours.

  9. hey girl, i think alot of folks have been feeling the way you do. it's .......natural? winter is the season of death. the cold locks on and the dark smothers all light. it seems to get worse as time goes by. there are things you can do but it's easier to do nothing. i wonder if people in warm weather locales experience this? hope you are enjoying the new job and thanks for the picture is a good one. take care, jack c

  10. Hi Deedee,
    I came here from Don's blog. I recognize the winter gloom, living in a country (Sweden) just now under its heavy lid. And death and severe illnesses among those we love and care for do cause grief; and grief takes time... (My mother died last year.) About the TV shows, I don't know those two. But I think sometimes we feel it helpful watching something that is WORSE than what we are going through ourselves, if at the same time we can keep our distance to it. In a backwards kind of way, it can help us with "the proportion" of things. Thinking just now of a few years back, when I had to go through surgery in one of the worst summer heat waves. Recovering from that, strangely enough, all I wanted to watch was people fighting their way through wild adventures in deserts and jungles!!! (One might have thought I'd have wanted to watch something more cooling, in that situation.)