A cab pulls up as I look out my office window, a man gets out proceeds across the street. Standing there he pulls a hood over his head to shut out the cold, he lights up a cigarette, begins to walk towards the commuter rail. As I look at him I wonder what he is feeling, what burdens does he carry, does he know that he is a beloved child of God? He is hunched down as he walks, the walk betraying some problem with either his knees or hip, he stops, takes a long drag from his cigarette then exhales a cloud of smoke with that resigned look. Flicking the stub away he looks down the street, then spits, the glob flying out onto the street. Taking a deep breath, he strides along a bit more determined, as if he has made a decision of great importance. Soon he is out of sight, only a lingering cloud of gray smoke betrays that he even existed in that specific time and place and soon that to dissipates. There is something in watching people as they walk by, each one lost in their own thoughts. Some seem weighed down by the burdens they carry while others walk along with that devil may care look, their bodies straight and upright, their path well paved. There is the child running along its mother, without a care knowing that even if they drift too far away they will not be lost. A young couple, in those first throes of romance, look longingly into each other’s eyes, any flaws masked by their deepest feelings of love.
In a dream I came upon a meadow, deep and green, the air warm, the breeze gentle as I stood there drinking in feelings of contentment. I have reached this place but it’s not one where I can stay, the feelings of peace give way to other more malevolent forces, the dream slowly transforms into a darker place. The Lenten journey carrying me across the variety of human emotions, in my dream world and in the everyday living. Watching others moving along on their way, some leaving only a trail of quickly dissipating smoke as they move on. I want to linger in the meadow, I want to let the feelings encompass my whole being and yet the world beckons and I cannot stay too long.
A gently falling rain greats my gaze, it waters the earth and in it carries those first urgings of Spring, warmer air, the budding of the trees, the crocus’ green shoots breaking through the winter ground. The dark days giving way to the lighter days of growth, the long winter nap slowly receding, the soul stretching forth, the heart awaking to a new world.
Where will these coming months take me? The healing is slow but I know that at some point along this road I will come to a better place. I cannot continue to live the brokenness, there is no hope in doing that only despair. Being broken is not the defining point, the defining is in the healing and the moving forward, past the dark places and embracing life and love.