Oklahoma’s winter was long and harsh. The pansies planted in the fall drooped, turned yellow and looked dead. Often I thought of cleaning the beds and digging them up. Not sure why I didn’t, except buried deep inside me was some hope they might actually survive.
And sure enough, the pansies are springing to life — full of color — and reminding me of the resilience of folks who, too, have been deeply wounded in some way and left wondering if the long and harsh time will ever end — and then it does and there is new life, springing from where, we cannot ever be sure, but rising nonetheless.
The belief that in the dark times we will someday know joy again is not a feeling. It is a “knowing.” But there are times when the feelings will overwhelm us and the “knowing” becomes difficult to imagine. It is in those times when it is a good idea to develop a relationship with someone we trust to walk beside us.
The trusted person may be a best friend, a support group, a spiritual leader or a therapist. What they can do when our “thinking” is cloudy is keep us company so we don’t feel so alone, help us say goodbye to the way it was and chart a new path to travel.
This season of the year is a reminder of that new life. Pansies raise their heads, shouting “I survived!” Bulbs buried in the ground during the cold, dark winter come bursting forth into bright, colorful blooms; redbud trees pop out everywhere; and the trees and grass begin to turn from brown to green.
Christians call it Easter. Others call it spring. For everyone, it can be a reminder of new beginnings, a second chance — or third or fourth. The message of springtime is: Don't give up. A new season is on its way.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.