Wednesday, April 27, 2011


There is a moment, indefinable even in it, when a subtle shift occurs and suddenly nothing is the same as it was. As kid growing up in Western Canada spring sprung like that. One day it was winter, snow piled high, creating its own landscape against the brilliant, crisp blue of the prairie winter sky – the next day it was spring, crocuses gamely pushing their way through the melting drifts toward the softer, warmer spring sky. But it was not seeing that signaled the turn. It was something deeper in the air – a texture, a quality not quite describable but deeply there. One lungful of that air and you knew – the long, still, season of death was over, life was on the way.

Nothing could rush the turning – all we could do was walk slowly enough to appreciate it and to notice the signs accompanying. The air had a different density, a somehow softer edge. Light had a quality, a brightness, a shimmer missing yesterday. The thermometer might objectively observe that today and yesterday are exactly the same. But we knew otherwise. Today may have the same degree, but it was headed in a different direction – it was trending warm. And even if the next few days gave the lie to the turn, we knew, with the begrudging patience shaped by years of observation, that spring would win over winter. We could endure an occasional late snowfall or sub-zero anomaly because we recognized the last ditch effort of winter to assert its dominance. But we knew it was all for show – a runner continuing around the bases after being thrown out at first. The game had changed.

Life turns like that, too. A moment when something indefinable but certain shifts – when nothing is quite the same ever again as it has been. There is not much to be done about it. Life happens. Resistance is futile – cling though we might to yesterday’s comfort, sooner or later we come to a certain knowing – it is a fading comfort. All around us things go on as if unchanged. But we know better. The time has come to lean into the new, to let the wonder of what will be unfold.

The fear is that we won’t be adequate for the new. But it doesn’t matter – the new is not waiting around for adequacy. Besides, as it turns out, it doesn’t matter at a level deeper than adequacy. The new rarely builds on the adequacy of the old – demanding its own skills, its own knowing, its own wisdom. Which, strangely, is the point. Adequacy is not in us. It comes to us with the new. Winter’s life is not enough for spring. But spring brings life adequate for itself. Our task in all of the turns is the same – let go and learn into the new. Such is the life of resurrection.

No comments:

Post a Comment