“Lisa!” a neighbor called to me as I rushed to my car to pick up my daughter from school. “I have something for you” she said as she walked toward me.
“Do you like mint?” She asked me as she opened her hands to reveal one little vine of mint with delicate roots in her palm.
It was cold outside – again. Too cold for early April. It had been a long winter and signs of green life were still yet to be found in the everyday landscape. I looked at the little mint plant. I suddenly smiled and felt myself slowing down and opening. In that moment, this bright, lush, green herb held in my neighbor’s palm contrasted sharply with the background that surrounded us. Tree were still bare, grass was still mostly brown. This little plant – a sign of hope.
Until I looked at the lush greenness of this little plant, I didn’t realize how much of me had been dead and used to seeing bleakness all around me in this long winter. I didn’t realize how I had been just going through the motions of daily life during winter – hustling out of the car and into the house, shoulders slumped forward around my heart, and not taking much time to appreciate the landscape of winter. And I also sensed the parts of me that were growing, beginning to sprout, wanting to be birthed after being quiet and near the hearth for several months.
Often during Holy Week, I reflect on Holy Saturday. Not much is said about Holy Saturday. It’s a bleak, dismal day, a time of much despair and anxiety. Jesus is dead; his body is in the tomb. The rug has been pulled out from underneath his family and friends. Each is reacting in his or her own way. Some are freaking out, others want answers.
On Holy Saturday, nothing appears to be happening. What they know is that Jesus is dead. What is unknown is who they are to become – as individuals and as a community. That is yet to be born.
For me, Holy Saturday is the space between death and birth.
We can find ourselves experiencing seasons of “holy Saturday” – this space between death and birth. I call these “Holy Saturday moments.” We’ve lost something or someone dear to us. We’ve lost our footing due to a big sudden change – in our relationships, job, faith. What we know is what we’ve lost. What we know is that we’ll never be the same. What we don’t know yet is how who we will become. What we don’t know yet is how hope will sprout and what will be birthed from this experience.
So what do we do? Do we wait? Do we hide out or go looking? Do we turn on ourselves and turn away from others…and life? Do we get lost in the story of our pain?
I know this: there is no “shoulding” ourselves out of anything. There is no “forcing” that will heal us. What does heal?
~ Just like my neighbor had gently tended to this plant all winter long, we too can compassionately and tenderly tend to ourselves.
~ We can have the courage to be with our pain – breathe with it and ask others to “stay with us” as Jesus did.
~ We can have the courage to lift our heads and look around us for the quiet displays of “miraculous” all around yes – yes, even on dismal days and seasons that seem to last so very long.
~ We can have the courage to honor our hearts, deeply listen to our hearts, and discover again how the heart calls us to delight. Whether that is taking out paints and a brush and painting, planting seeds in a small garden, calling a friend to go for a walk, writing poetry, taking pictures of flowers blooming, or going to be early for a change – we can begin it.
When we follow what gently delights our hearts, we align ourselves again with a deep truth within us. Slowly we discover we are being birthed anew.
“The heart’s language is one of tender whispers and deep delight that we can hear when we create the sacred space to listen deeply.” ~ Lisa A. McCrohan
Dear Friends, what is being birthed and called forth in my life are beautiful ways of inspiring delight, compassion and connection in your everyday life. For years I have created poetic greeting cards for friends and family — to frame and look at everyday and to give to others and share the delight. And this spring, I am now offering these Gems to the world for you and your dear ones. Often people tell me that they want to say something to their partners, moms, and soulsisters, but don’t know where to begin. Let these lines of poetry and words of inspiration accompany you as you write and express your love from your heart. You can find these Gems here at my Shop.
Lisa A. McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, RYT
Delight Passionista. Poet. Compassion Coach. Mom