the definition of darkness

| January 12, 2013 | 5 Replies

My hips slide out of place for the second week in a row. “It’s been very mild both these times,” says my chiropractor after I explain that I’ve been doing the physical therapy exercises each day. “You’re doing what you need to do. Just give it time.” She is encouraging. Perky, even.

I slip the hope into my back pocket, the same one where I’ve been holding my despair.

My friend Gretchen writes, “Go into nature and look for something that represents the pain, discomfort, and sadness that you are feeling and take the time to notice what stirs in you when you find it.”

I am the shriveled blossom in my neighbor’s hedge, a dry echo of the woman I’ve known myself to be.

January isn't the best month for flowers

I am the abandoned cornhusk at the foot of a mildewed fence. It’s been a while since I fancied myself bright or beautiful.

it used to be hanging on someone's door

I am snow melting into asphalt. I can’t imagine that I’m doing much good here, but there’s nowhere else to go.

snow melting into asphalt

I am the deserted beach, stark and serene.

stark and serene

I am the tree reaching out for light even when the sky clouds over.

the reaching branches

I am the sparrow: a simple, social creature. Even when I’m hurting I’m wise enough to seek out friends.

simple, social sparrows

I am willing to play in the dirt.

watching birds play in dirt makes me happy

There are some stories you don’t want to tell until you’ve lived the happy ending. I keep starting a blog entry on the Lesson Of My Hips, but it refuses to wrap itself up neatly.

Two days ago I opened my book of Rumi:

There are values in pain that are difficult
to see without the presence of a guest.
 
Don’t complain about autumn.
Walk with grief like a good friend.
Listen to what he says.
 
Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave
give the opening we most want.

I sit with the words again and again. I’ve wanted answers to lean against, but that’s not what I’ve been given.

more bare branches

The definition of darkness is that we cannot see what’s going on. The definition of winter is that the branches stay bare for a good long while.

the paper whites on my desk

In the meantime things grow inside. I am not the paper whites ready to blossom. I am not the potted palm fountaining. But I receive them with the gratitude of a beggar. When we muster the courage to accept our emptiness, we find most anything can fill us.

my beloved palm

So I do. And it does.

how many sunsets do I take the time to enjoy?

Category: beauty, body, outside, pain, remaining calm, the seasons

Hannah Lynn Mell

About the Author ()

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Rowley, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David and their charming three-legged cat, Thomas. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices.

Comments (5)

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  1. Nancy Hartsock says:

    ah…humility. gratitude IN humility, even better. i hear you, hannah lynn…all our humble vulnerability is infused with hope if we are open to it…and you are. me too. humbly grateful to the Source of all life.

  2. Doug Bowker says:

    Your writings are so honest and personal and good Hanna, I feel like I don’t deserve to read them. But since I can, I will honor them and let them sink in, as all art sinks into ones consciousness.

    Thank you.

  3. Hannah, you are bright and beautiful, and the world is a better place because of you!

  4. Mum says:

    When I muster the courage to accept my emptiness, i will find that most anything can fill me.
    Breathe.
    Yes.
    OK
    Fillin up right here…..

    Grateful for you, my HannerLynn.
    Breath
    ;o)

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