Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘desert’

The Sands of Grief

In a few days it will be one year since losing my best friend. As we tend to do when looking back I have tried to process the last twelve months.

At first there was the acceptance that she really was gone. The days when I missed her physical presence…The times I wanted to pick up the phone and call her…The questions I still had to ask her…The advice I missed getting from her. And so much more; like just being able to hug her and feel her hugging back in response.

At first part of me felt so paralyzed…almost lost. I knew that life would go on with or without her. I knew we would survive even with this huge void in our lives. But I did not like it one tiny bit.

When I was a young child we would often go to the beach early in the morning. If we could not be there by eight o’clock mother was not happy.

My mother wanted us to be on the sand and in the water before it got terribly hot. I remember being fascinated with the way the water would fill up any whole you made in the sand. You would dig your fingers into the sand and just as quickly it flowed back to fill up the whole. The sand on the beach has the quality of holding water in itself.

In the early days following her death I would go about my daily routines. Thoughts of her would rush in to fill whatever space available. I could be driving and thoughts of something we did together would rush into my mind.

Just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.

I could be alone in the kitchen cooking and thoughts of times we cooked together would rush into my heart. I could see us standing together chopping and sharing our dreams. Or discussing how to cut the cucumbers. Thoughts rushed in just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.

I could be praying in our church filled with Sunday worshippers and thoughts of the many times we prayed together would rush into my heart. I could feel her presence as we joined together in praying to Our Father in heaven. These thoughts and feelings would rush in just like the sand on the beach would fill the hole as quickly as I could dig.

You cannot stop these thoughts and feelings from filling the spaces in your heart, mind, and soul. You cannot control these thoughts and feelings any more than I could control the beach sand. I could not stop the sand from rushing into my little hole unless…I moved farther away from the shore line.

As time passes it seems as though you have moved farther away from the shore line. The thoughts rush in less frequently, but still present.

One of the interesting facts about sand is that it is made of remnants of the past…               So it is with grief.

Sand actually comes in different sizes. Most sand feels gritty between your fingers. But some sand, like silt, feels as soft as baking flour… So it is with grief.

Because of the chemical makeup of sand, usually containing quartz, it is weather resistant. Just as it is with grief, sand comes in several different colors depending on its physical contents.

One day grief feels like depression…one day grief feels like gratitude…one day grief feels like regret…one day grief feels like solitude…one day grief feels like overwhelming love…one day grief feels like deep peace and one day grief feels like profound joy.

We find sand in many environments from the seashore and the desert to the mountain tops. The waters of grief can flood your heart and soul when you least expect them. Grief can leave you in the desert to face and wrestle with your feelings of being alone and empty. Finally you realize it is grief that makes you appreciate the mountain top. It is the grief that guides you to seek out the mountain top. The beauty of grief is that it enriches your future.

On the mountain top…you can rejoice in what fills your heart and soul.

On the mountain top… you can let the sands blow.

On the mountain top you can be content in knowing that your heart will always hold the one you love.

If you ever want to amaze yourself about sand just go to the Wikipedia where you can learn how sand is used in things from concrete and bricks to beautiful transparent glass. You can even smooth your toes while at the beach by digging them in the sand.

Beauty lies within the wholeness

of the grief we experience…

be on the lookout for its presence.

Grief can became a treasured

piece of sculpture.

God is constantly surrounding us with his goodness.

Time in Desolation

Sometimes I do not know what happens to the time. Time is such an elusive concept. When you are young time seems to drag from year to year, month to month, day to day, hour to hour, and even minute to minute. But it almost seems that as you get older time seems to speed up, before you know it another year has passed by. You turn around and all those things you were planning on getting done have slid down the time slide.

I read once that when you are young time seems to drag because you have so many exciting things to look forward to. When you are young life is about looking to the future. When you are young you really do not think about getting old.

Even when I have things I can look forward to in my life they come and go; vanishing right before my eyes. And typically what plays out in my head is more satisfying than the real time event.

I try to cherish the time I have with loved ones, but sometimes I wonder does it really matter. Time goes on and the busyness of our lives spins the clock hands into a blur.

There have been times in my life when I have wanted to pause time…to hold onto a special occasion. We tend to recreate our memories in a most glorious fashion. Have you ever noticed once a person has died we tend to remember mostly the good things. These good things eventually come to be far more important than the disappointing ones. And I guess it is as it should be for in reality the good should be what you would want to be remembered for after you die.

Occasionally I think it is okay to feel sorry for yourself. To think about the past and long to have moments back to relive them…even in slow motion. Going back would allow you to be more absorbed with the details. Going back would allow you to cherish your loved ones a little more.

There is this saying ‘live like today is the first day of the rest of your life’. Well I am not sure I can fully embrace this thinking today. Sometimes the rest of my life seems like a barren wasteland. At times it even resembles a parched desert. But there is still life on the dry parched cracked desert. Time in the desert is distorted and riddled with confusion.

I found this little poem I’ve added below. It seems to put the days of our life in perspective.

We all exchange the time we are given each day with the things we do. We each have only so much time to spend before our life is a part of history.

Today Is The Very First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

This is the beginning of a new day.

I have been given this day

to use as I WILL.

I can waste it… or use it for good,

But what I do today is important,

Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it!

When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever,

Leaving in its place something that I have traded for it.

I want it to be gain, and not loss;

Good and not evil;

success and not failure;

In order that I shall not regret

the price I have paid for it.

I will try just for today,

 for you never fail until you stop trying.

May this little Desolation Angel stay by our side with tender care and attentiveness.