There’s a heavy wet fog wrapping itself around our part of the world today, and it’s an unwelcome surprise for most of us. After a week of 60+ temperatures and bright sunshine, it feels like a step backwards. But, hey, it is still only March. Spring is only a few days old after all.
But, after the dark, drear winter, we are all so heavily invested in Spring’s symbolism of rebirth and new life that it’s hard to let go of the hope our sunny preview engendered. Like most things, we want something wonderful, right away–and forever, unchanging, unchallenging. Life, however, is always a work-in-progress; always adjusting, changing, diverting perhaps, but progressing inevitably to its destination. Spring is coming, and Summer after that…warmth and wonder too (but let’s not forget that Autumn and Winter wait their turns too–we live in a cycle of loss and revival–hard, but fair).
This onset of fog, rain, or the surprising snowfalls in the Midwest this past weekend, don’t mean that the promises of Spring have been reneged. Be positive and patient and let nature roll out its full course of change and renewal. Enjoy all the real change the world has to offer, in all its textures and types.
When we live, as so many of us do, in tenuous circumstance, on the edge of disaster, with less and less to anchor us to stability, set-backs feel so much worse. Believing in the hope of a better tomorrow feels like too much to risk. Just getting through our fog-bound days is all we can expect; one unsure step after the other, inches at a time, eyes unfixed on anything beyond survival. Don’t look for too much beyond and you won’t be let down.
But Spring and new life are out there whether we believe in them or not. Warmth will arrive to embrace us, to carry us onward, even if we give up hope. Life moves on, even if we try to stand still. Since it is a cycle, we know what’s coming, but the dark times in between can seduce us to believing that the light will not return. It is to our grief if we listen to the siren song of the bleak and the blighted and allow ourselves to forget what we know is otherwise and unchangingly true: everything is in balance, and in all things and seasons, the light will come back, and we will be okay. Remember and believe.
Life is a work in progress, a first draft in search of the whole and final story. The potential for unhappy endings exists, of course, but hiding and avoiding risk, guarantees only an empty existence, not happiness. There are no assurances of anything, but there are at least even chances of fulfillment. Reach and try, or you’ll never know.
So, when the fog rolls in and obscures our view, it doesn’t mean that the sun is not out there. Believe, hang on to hope, and trust that things are in motion to bring us what we desire, need and require. Being assured that those brighter days are coming, get out there and enjoy them; watching them pass isn’t going to do anyone any good.
Without risk and effort, life is not a work in progress, it is an exercise in futility.