Ever since Effie had suffered the miscarriage she had felt lost; or rather, her life had felt lost to her, as if it had washed out of her along with her baby. Even Spring’s arrival, which usually filled her with the hopefulness of new things, was failing to generate a spark within the coldness of her deadened heart. Then she remembered the two black swans by the lake in the park who had lost their two cygnets last year, and feeling a new kinship with them and a desire to commiserate with them, she went to the lake. But when she got there she was stupefied to see the two of them building a new nest. She wondered: How can they start over? How can they hope again? Don’t they miss those two babies? Don’t they know that they could be setting themselves up for pain again?! For three weeks Effie came back every day, both mystified by the swan’s behavior even while hoping to find some nebulous answer for herself. And then there they were: Two eggs! Two eggs to replace the two babies lost. Effie found herself slumped down in the reeds weeping as if her very soul was gushing out. As the soft darkness muffled into the park, she realized something strange: That she felt purged of her own sorrow, even while she wondered… Now what?
While never having experienced a miscarriage, I know how Effie felt when Life’s wreckage of my younger days also left me wondering: Now what? As the days morphed into one another I wondered what I wanted to do. A general sense of dissatisfaction caused me to become aware that I was not happy with myself or with my life… which realization caused me to wonder what I could do about that. Crazy things came to mind: Rent a motel room and just spend all of my time creating artwork? Spend all of my time writing? Slowly, I began to realize various aspects of what my heart wanted for myself and for my life; this realization, like a careless spark which grows into a wildfire, ignited a desire within me to find a way into my future. In each day I found those ways involved mental compromises: If I can’t paint all of the time, I can at least paint for an hour TODAY! If I can’t send a novel off to a publisher, I can at least write a single blog NOW! As if slowly emerging out of a foggy morning I began to feel excitement again about myself and my life, and I came to know that as the Dream grows, it also slowly grows The Dreamer!
Incrementally, the Dream grew into a direction, and traveling that road changed me and brought me to a place at which I never could have thought to arrive: The peacefulness of Acceptance! For all of us, there are many ways in which to experience loss in life, and after the weeping and wailing and smashing of dishes and lamps, we all arrive at that one question: Now what? Taking a baby step each day and telling ourselves, “It’s enough for today”… we will slowly grow into the answer to that question.
I guarantee it.