A Winter Gift
We’ve had weeks of on and off rain in the north of Spain, and many parts have had snow. It really is very similar to the UK weather wise, although I know that many still don’t believe me! One morning on my day off, the sun suddenly appeared. According to the weather forecast, it wasn’t meant to be there! I checked the hourly forecast on my phone and it continued to say that it was going to rain heavily. I looked at the beautiful sky and decided to risk it. I put on my warm walking clothes and winter hat and headed out into the sunshine. After a lovely walk around the walls of the town where I live, I stopped in a café, got out my notebook and started to write. Below is a poem that summed up that walk. Of course, it’s really about more than the weather isn’t it? It’s about the “weather” of our lives and the challenges of facing different seasons and finding even the most fleeting moments of joy in the midst of often challenging circumstances.
A Survival Tool
The only way that I have found to deal with those aspects of my life which are not how I would like them to be is to “compartmentalise” them. By that I mean to give them their space, acknowledge them and grieve them but not allow them to take over our whole life. We cannot deny the pain of unfulfilled dreams. However, if we can prevent them from becoming our whole life, then we have found a useful survival tool. It’s about learning not to write off a whole period of time, whether that’s a year, a week or a day, to such an extent that we fail to notice those little moments of beauty. As I’ve written before, we’re free to cry and to laugh when we don’t feel the need to deny either of those emotions. They each have their place.
A Brief Moment of Beauty is Still a Gift
Sometimes, in the midst of suffering, we come to appreciate our blessings even more than we did before because we no longer take them for granted. I’m fairly certain that there are few people who enjoy walking as much as I do. Having experienced an MS episode in which that was taken away from me, and knowing that that could happen again at any time, I appreciate every step. Perhaps it’s only as we come to understand our mortality that we can choose to truly live each moment, only when we know what it is to be sick that we can truly appreciate the gift of being well. Sometimes I’ve been admonished for even mentioning that I could lose the ability to walk again at some point. However, there’s nothing pessimistic in acknowledging the reality that we live with, unless we do so to the detriment of all the beautiful aspects of reality that also surround us and are there to be discovered. I don’t usually give the question of whether I’ll be walking in ten years the time of day, I’m too busy walking and enjoying doing it! The fact is that knowing that in my future, walking may not be so easy only serves to increase the joy of the present moment. Nothing pessimistic about that! If we’re in the middle of tough life circumstances, then we need all the hope and all the joy that we can get. That’s why I advocate keeping our eyes wide open and reaching out to grasp it, even if it’s for the briefest of moments. Every such moment is a gift. As I left the café and headed home, it was already starting to rain again.
A Winter Gift
“It always rains here,” I’m assured
And the weather forecast agrees,
But I am walking in the sun,
The bitter cold, a gentle breeze.
Beneath lies mud from fallen rain,
The future clouds are coming in
But now this pause as sun breaks through
And there’s the choice to let it win.
It does not rain here “all the time.”
Except in minds when thoughts so drift
This season’s joy is calling out
So brief a moment, still a gift.
Bereaved of Summer, not of hope,
The sun is always in the sky.
When days are dark then treasure more,
Those precious rays that dare defy.
Rachel Feliciano January 2015