Spring is like a perhaps hand (which comes carefully out of Nowhere)arranging a window,into which people look(while people stare arranging and changing placing carefully there a strange thing and a known thing here)and changing everything carefully spring is like a perhaps Hand in a window (carefully to and fro moving New and Old things,while people stare carefully moving a perhaps fraction of flower here placing an inch of air there)and without breaking anything.
Just when you think you can’t possibly take another snow day, just when you are to the point of screaming at strangers, tearing your hair out; right when you are looking at flights to warmer climates and regretting signing a lease for 14 months, just then spring comes.
Spring is coming in so many ways– not just the buds on the trees, not just finally using my sun-roof, or the cherry-blossom festival. Spring and new life are in having furniture and a house full of tenants who might actually end up being a community and friends. Spring is in recognizing that I have been unbelievably blessed with a job where I meet new people everyday, where I am challenged to connect and care about folks I might have considered enemies, and yet still push for justice. September through December felt like a living hell– all highway, anonymous cold, grieving and a deep sense of loss. Part of that loss was a loss of meaning, of not understanding how I was contributing anymore, or if I had turned my back on true suffering…and another part was simply in confronting once again my foreignness, everywhere.
I have reflected so often on my rootlessness, my lack of a home-team. The struggle to belong, to make sense of why I have had to be a nomad for so many years, or who I am and where I may someday find a home, this is constant. I certainly don’t have a clear answer right now. But I do know that my first month into this job I met a woman who came from the same neighborhood I had just lived in in Medellin (Buenos Aires), that last month I met a Mauritanian man, that my Jewish-American colleague knows my friends from the Holy Land Trust, that this afternoon I was able to go for a run with a woman who knew Oscar Romero and has lived an outrageously difficult life, and yet who encourages and inspires me. I know that twice in the last month I have used my mediation skills and that countless times in the past year I have been humbled and educated by being shown my own erroneous assumptions and past mistakes…so I KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that in the midst of this craziness, in the huddled-up-lostness of winter there was and is a seed of beauty and meaning waiting to germinate.
I have come to recognize that the slow and painful realization that there is no “now” moment when things suddenly are simpler, figured out, and good, is liberating. As a child I always envisioned this moment around the aged of 22; perhaps because I knew that was the age my mother got engaged at and we are somehow all under the impression as children that marriage signifies the end of uncertainty and suffering. I imagined that the questions I had, that the difficulty of finding true friendship, that my spiritual doubts and uncertainties about the future would gradually but definitively be resolved one by one with maturity. I will admit that I am not fully mature, but I now know that there is no such moment, and if there were, it almost definitely wouldn’t be the moment one gets engaged or married! I started realizing this when I turned 18 and realized I had known more in second grade than I did at that point; the first half of my 20’s has only served to confirm this point, and has been a process of grieving that reality (as well as so many others). Perhaps now I’ve moved through denial, anger, negotiating, etc and have finally come out on the side of acceptance, and perhaps even gratitude. There is no single path, there is no moment or age that brings absolute peace and clarity. Maybe if I had a home, maybe if I had fewer aspirations, maybe if I thought less, maybe maybe maybe, but probably not. I am having to weave the meaning, discern the wisdom, build the relationships, chose the places– this process is very tiring, and it’s terrifying because unlike in certain times past, I have so much control and agency over all of those things which means it’s on me when I chose poorly. But I am building something, and this spring weather reminds me to have grace with myself about that.