An Iris in Remembrance.


There’s a bed of purple irises in our backyard. A single blossom has unfurled, and it evokes warm memories of my mother, all those late spring days when she would weed the flower beds at the front of the house, and the irises seemed to multiply by hundreds every year, their heavy heads bowing in the May sun.

In many ways, I feel like I’m not in a place right now to be grateful for what happened to us. Time presses on, and the weight of meaning-making feels impossibly hard to bear.

And yet, these memories sprout up anyway. They both anchor and undo me, all at once. They are the leaves I grow and shed, over and over again, that feed the soul-soil of who I am. It’s an ongoing existence of death and rebirth. That’s what grief is to me – death and rebirth, death and rebirth. Some seasons are uglier and harder than others, and I’m sure I can never recover these winters. And some seasons I turn toward the sun, arms outstretched, like all those irises my mother planted, growing by the years.

So today, yes, I bow my head. Thank you, thank you.

A Wager and the Weather.

What are the odds that things will turn out as planned?
What are the odds that things will go our way, just this once?
How much do you want to bet that the person who said they would call or lend a hand or fulfill their promise will flake out?
Is it possible that the weatherman’s blizzard predictions will be right this time?
Why are we not surprised to wake up the morning after a blizzard and realize that the plowman, in the midst of white-out conditions, did in fact, hit your car last night?
And so I often wonder if I would make more money by betting against my own life than I would investing in it.
Despite that, I’m still probably the only person left in the Midwest that can honestly say that I love snow. Right now it’s snowing my favorite kind of snow – giant, fluffy flakes that hang heavy on tree branches and window sills and cover the world in a blanket of quiet.
There’s the snow that leaves you with the peaceful, quiet, contented feeling.
And there’s the snow that reminds you : the world, nature, the environment is a force to be reckoned with.
Either way, it’s not in my control. There’s a time and a season for both. With that in mind, I’m dropping all of my predictions, expectations and disappointments. I’m just trying to heed the warnings and avoid getting caught in the midst of it.