I woke up to hot coffee and the sound of birds this morning. Here in Wisconsin, the birds are a welcomed sound and a reminder of warmer weather ahead...as typically in early April, there are no guarantees that you will not wake up to large amounts of snow still covering the ground. So when you hear these creatures singing, you know something good is on it's way. Something that you haven't felt for the last six months. Something that makes you exhale and look out the window for the sun that has seemed to abandon us altogether...It makes us breathe a bit easier to hear these birds because they seem to know, despite the recent cold, that everything is now going to be ok.
And with this, comes the intense process of all of the snow melting. At our place, it has uncovered the earth to reveal some treasures I didn't even know were missing. My favorite snow shovel that cracked from the cold, my ten year old's sled that was left out the night before a big snowfall, a deer leg (don't ask), and a missing cross country ski that would have been useful a couple weeks back. Also among the stash, was a couple of flattened cardboard boxes from our garden, a winter boot, my favorite scarf, and a mixing bowl that I didn't even know was gone. All of this stuff, that was being hidden by the beautiful white snow...I didn't even know it was there. But with a little bit of change, it all got uncovered.
Our lives are about this very kind of change. Some of us can roll really well with it...even look forward to it. And others...well, we like the consistency of our life. We crave knowing what to expect. We count on this familiarity to maneuver through our days and without it, we stumble. In this container of knowing, we shine...outside of it...well, we have to tread a bit more carefully. But sometimes change can uncover things within you that are just not useful. Things that we have been carrying with us that no longer serve where we are headed. It can help us grow...but damn...it's scary. You just don't know exactly what is going to be uncovered when that snow melts.
And with this season, I find myself thinking about this in relation to love. I have struggled most of my life with this...maybe you have too (read more about it here). It has the potential to open you up in ways that create such vulnerability, that most of us are afraid to fully go down that route. It challenges us to see yourself in strength, and gives us that mirror to see where we are fragile. It forces us to care for ourselves deeply and possibly care for another in ways that we aren't used to. It invites us to change how we have experienced love in the past, how we have cared for it, how we have seen it. It offers us an opportunity to stretch a bit more and to see what is residing in those dark corners of our mind. It allows us to clean out what is not useful, plant new seeds and watch them grow. But it first requires that we show up fully and honestly and willing to get dirty.
For myself, I look at this and know that I have loved some beautiful men in my life. I also know that I have loved some questionable men...and if I am really honest, I know that I have loved some really dark men. I have experienced pure beauty and also heart wrenching, want-to-crawl-out-of-your-skin pain. Men have cheated on me and I have been unfaithful with too many men to count. Sometimes I cheated just because I felt like it, sometimes it was out of spite, but it was always because I was afraid. Afraid of what might happen if I let love in again. Afraid of change. Afraid of working hard, afraid of digging deep only to have the rug pulled out from underneath me. Afraid of what will be uncovered when all that fucking snow melts.
And recently, I find myself with change staring me straight into my eyes. Asking me to step up in ways I haven't before. Challenging me to make different choices. Forcing me to be seen in ways I haven't in past relationships. Loving someone genuinely. Allowing someone to hold me while I stumble out of my comfort zone and into something new. Having someone grab my hand as I want to run and say, no, baby...we don't do that with us. And knowing, deep inside that he is right.
And lately, I find myself giving in to change and trusting that the fear will go away...slowly on it's own. I find myself knowing what I need and having faith that it will be there. I find myself willing to give more because I feel safe in this. I find myself welcoming the changes ahead because each day I trust this a little bit more. And I find that when the snow melts, what is uncovered can sometimes be messy, but given the chance, it can also be quite beautiful.