Signs of Life

We are being remade, together, it seems. This transformation is terrifying and painful, and, sometimes, beautiful, too. The beauty does not solve the pain, but it appears the two coexist.

In waves, I feel filled with homesickness, with sadness, with feelings of being powerless. In waves, I feel flooded with gratitude, even for the smallest things, and awash in love for the big, fundamentally good things.

It is both/and every day.

Last Sunday, I watched the reply of Middle Collegiate Church’s Easter service, in which Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, invited us to look for the signs of life in the midst of grief, loss, death – the reckoning we are all collectively experiencing each in our own ways.

A few weeks ago, my parents decided to foster an abandoned dog from their local animal shelter, and this week, they chose to adopt her.

Her name is Aurora, like the aurora borealis – the northern lights. The mysterious light phenomenon that appears in the darkest skies, in seemingly forlorn places.

Aurora has brought joy to my family, light into their lives when I cannot be physically present with them. This has brought me great peace.

This world is life and death. Hope and despair. Love and fear. Light and darkness. Both/and. All the time.

We gather and we lose. We lose and we start again. We learn how to carry on. We learn how to repair things that are broken.

I would offer to you what Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis offered to me and to her congregation. Look for the signs of life.

The way that wildflowers grow in sidewalk cracks. The way that forest floors encroach on abandoned farmland. The way that creatures reclaim public parks, singing to greet the day when human beings stop driving their cars… life finds a way to keep blooming. And us? We have to find ways to keep living.

May your Mondays, wherever you find yourselves today, bring you calm strength.