Monday, November 2, 2009

If I Could Turn Back Time

Fall Back…’s the way I can remember which way to set my clocks. I am not crazy about Daylight Savings Time. I don’t like the darkness that creeps into my late afternoon. But I do like the sun peeking through the trees earlier in the morning. And I especially like the surge of power I feel in turning back time – even if for just one hour - 60 minutes of precious, reclaimed time. Time for using or snoozing - which I generally have done in the past. But this year I reset the clock the following morning and reclaimed my hour while awake for catching up on some much needed reading – and quiet thinking. I confess – I even skipped church, having my own version at my window altar where my tears could flow freely as I praised and searched and found rest for my soul alone with God.

Fall back …it’s also the way my emotions seem to move. Fall back into a flood of nostalgia and heartbreak over loss. Fall back into memories that bring great longings of the heart. Like the words of Cher’s song “My world was shattered, I was torn apart; Like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart”. I want to – no, I do not want to do this, but something pulls me to fall back into what might have been, fall back into the whys of life’s twists and turns, fall back to a future that looks different, and fall back to rethink, redo, and try to get to the day that I can once again possibly spring forward. Many are right there with me in their own personal kind of fall backs of life. It affects us differently, but I see in all of us a clamoring to fight the fall and get going again. It is what brings me back - that sense of purpose and hope.

Last week I wrote about suffering being transformed into honey that feeds others. But before that transformation can occur, there is a time of facing the empty, hollow spaces left by our loss. Maybe it is the same thing as my fall back. Maybe it is healing. Sister Glen of the Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado says it this way,
“First we have to go to these hollow places in ourselves. Often we have to take the trip in stages – five minutes, fifteen, thirty…until we lose the fear that the emptiness will destroy us. Inhabiting our hollows makes room for us to grow, to make friends with ourselves in a new way, making way to discover God in unexpected places.”

Maybe this is what grief and loss and struggle is all about – visiting the hollow places in our hearts little by little, trusting that God’s spirit can blow through the emptiness, carry away the darkness, sending those little bees that begin to make honey for others who might be hurting. Like turning the clock back and then forward, there seems to be a cycle to this process. I suppose it is okay to fall back and visit the hollow places – I forgive myself. I just can’t stay there. Today as I walked I found myself gathering colorful leaves and decorating a birthday cake for someone I love. There is no turning back of time, but there is always something to move us forward - even if we fall back now and then. I think a little chocolate cake will help.

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