Passover - Easter - Eostre - the rebirth of Spring. How naturally the season lends itself to the perception of rebirth and renewal. In contrast, during the brittle days of winter, it's difficult to perceive any movement at all, the contraction can be so tight.
During this past winter of long dark nights, something was surely happening. As morning came, I knew the work had been arduous, but didn't know what had been done. During the day, pangs of longing arose like mist. A phrase uttered from my mouth, "I miss him so much," had the power to undo me. Even now, I don't know whether to use the past or present tense. The two fuse together. Past is present.
Memory continues to play episodes from my lost love and marriage. From the first encounter on a bus to the final goodbye in a cath unit, the scenes surface randomly, like beads that had been scattered when the thread uniting us broke apart.
Most of the dreams have been as faint as gossamer. Night after night I submerged in the deep underworld and when I awoke, grasping, I came up with nothing at all. Some mornings I felt caught in a web, as if I were being pulled back under. I dream he is here. What joy! I remember he is gone. What pain! The slow process of adjustment is underway.
I've never used a rosary, but this winter it seemed my psyche was trying to present one for me. Assembled from memories and dreams, the pieces of my life somehow seek to be reordered, strung back onto one unified thread. I've been moving forward in a kind of prayerful trance - touching and feeling my way from one bead of memory to another.
In December during the long nights following the winter solstice, our family celebrated his 69th birthday, the first one he was not alive to celebrate. As a tribute for the occasion, our daughter bought a gardenia tree, in memory of planting a tree with him as a young child. I planted it in front of our home and continued to water and watch it throughout the winter.
Then spring arrived and on the very first day of Passover, the first blossom opened - fresh and exultant. His palpable absence at the Seder table the night before was drawn within this most fragrant and tender token of Beauty, a perfect symbol of rebirth and hope.
There's no need for me to resort to superstition or read more into the timing than what I've already suggested. Love doesn't die, nor does Beauty. Both are eternally interwoven, embedded in our world and deep within each of us. As I personally transition from winter to spring, I take note of the beautiful renewal of nature around me and the voice within me that echoes in my dreams: "Love Forever."