I was gifted this quote from my best friend the other day (aka my husband) after a tortuous week, or was it a month? The words wafted from the small face of my phone, to my own face like the sweet scent of a candle might. Instantly, but unconsciously, bringing a calm over your body. I could picture the rainbow settling into the sky as if it belonged there, as if it was not a miracle of sorts but rather something that always remained, but perhaps could not be seen. I pictured the storm that had no doubt been present just before the beautiful colors arched along the skyline and smiled…
Embrace The Rain.
I mean, embracing the rainy skies would allow us to be present in the darkness, knowing that just beyond our reach, something better was coming. But why did it have to be so hard? Why did it have to feel so cold and wet?
On the day before spring officially began, I walked through my garage and yelled to my husband, ‘wow, it is so nice to have our dry garage back!’ Nice, to be able to walk into the garage in my socks, grab some toiletries and head back into the house…socks still dry! Nice, in that just beyond the garage, was a dry driveway and clear streets. Nice, in that we could finally, once again, see the grass.
Yet none was quite as gratifying as the sight of the buds. On that particular day, one day before the coming of spring, I noticed tiny buds making their way through the dirt. I couldn’t help but cheer for them. I mean, we knew eventually the snow would end and spring would arrive, but deep inside I did have doubt. What if this time the winter was just too brutal? What if this time the flowers would not be strong enough to come back? What if this time, things would be different?
But there they were. Alive. Reminding us that winter was nearly done and a new season was about to kick in and give us an extra feeling of life.
Or not. Because as spring arrived this year, so did another snowy winter storm. One so wild that we would head home from work early, make another pot of soup and hunker down for the night. This one seemed different from the others though, as it piled up around us and layered itself on the trees peacefully. This one, while looking remotely as the others, cast a deep sadness over me. This time, I did not notice the beauty of the snowflakes or the nature covered in white, nor the peacefulness of the neighborhood, but instead, my own disappointment. I felt betrayed by what I had seen the day before. Fooled into thinking that signs of life from those little buds meant warmth was just around the corner…
And while I knew that surely the snow falling did not mean we would skip spring completely, I felt trapped in my disappointment and disgusted at the idea of embracing it.
I just wanted the rainbow.
It felt similar to my 18-year-old taking an independent stand for himself senior year. Making a decision to change his daily habits, his weekly living arrangement and his constant whereabouts while finishing up senior year. I felt surprised and shaken. I felt imbalanced and confused. But mostly, I felt disappointed that while I had been waiting anxiously for this time in his life to come so I could watch in awe, he didn’t want me to watch at all. That what I thought was the beginning, the buds of a thrilling new season, wasn’t at all what he wanted. He wanted independence and he wanted it to start now. In came the rain.
I just wanted the rainbow.
The quote reminded me that the rainbow would surely come but not until the rain was done. Not until the dark clouds had emptied themselves and the skies cleared.
So I rallied. I embraced the last snowstorm snuggled under the blanket and relished in the bright sunshine that arrived the next day. I savored the grass doing its best to poke through the snow as it began to melt away. And when I looked real close, though I didn’t see the rainbow, I embraced the signs of life.
I embraced my son’s need for independence as well. As he reached over to hug me after visiting briefly, I held onto his words “I love you mom,” and let them soak into my body and inhaled. For his need to be independent, as well as the skies’ need to let out some snow, wasn’t really disappointing or depressing, but instead necessary…if I wanted to see the rainbow.