Return of the Robins

Robin Red-breasts flitted about on the branches as Tetley and I walked along the wooded stretch this morning and although we are still in a deep-freeze, it feels like we’ve turned a corner. The light lingers longer each day and I turn my face up in grateful ecstasy towards the heat of the sun. Yes, mountains of filthy snow will likely linger for months, but there are swathes of ground visible — packed, frozen earth I can imagine soon turning to mud. Oh, I know it will be close to 2 months before spring really arrives, but these small harbingers and a week without snow have lifted my spirits – believing now, that there are lighter, warmer days not far ahead ahead.

I aspire to live in the present, to remain alert to the moment with all my senses, my heart and mind.  Buddhists, my sculpture teacher – Mike Skop and common sense have all steered me towards this as a core spiritual and creative practice. But what about when life really sucks? I think of my friend simultaneously battling cancer and a broken heart and all I want to do is fast forward her out of her shitty present to brighter days I feel sure are ahead for her. I don’t want her to have to ‘be here now’ – but she is and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. The pain of our loved ones is awful to watch.  As always, I turn to books and remember that during some of my darkest days When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron , (find a beautiful excerpt by clicking here) was like my survival manual.  Reading this piece again, I am reminded to embrace the moment, as dark and cold as it may be — but I still welcome the Robins back to the neighborhood and wish for spring.

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