Spring Without Her

Carol Mathew-Rogers is an artist, writer and life-long animal lover. She is the Executive Director of the educational nonprofit The Creative Edge: The Way of the Arts where she facilitates personal growth and exploration through creativity in individuals and groups. She creates an atmosphere where curiosity and mindfulness are encouraged and actively promotes artistic play.

Today I sit in uneasy peace, unwilling to move from my lookout by the window, glad the clear wall is there to shield me. Outside, the leaves continue their rush to emerge, willing to risk all as they unfurl their soft and delicate selves, one after the other, stretching out into a world not yet ready to receive them. Winter wants to linger so she weeps cold tears into the biting wind, not to stop the greening but to remind us of the power of the cold and dark. Don’t forget, she whispers with frosty breath, you will always need the stillness I bring so all who wait to be born will have enough time to gather strength.

Wire sculpture of a person in mourning. Head raised, hands on the heart with a red heart in the middle

Inside, I can’t seem to find any strength. The surge of springtime spirit so evident in the living green continues to hibernate within me, wrapped in the cloying fibers of my grief. My heart does its job of pumping life but sometimes it feels strangled by this thorn-studded sorrow, an invader intent on destruction. It leaves me breathless for long, random moments, only to release its hold long enough for me to forget how my world has shifted on its axis. And it feels like a dream, this strange idea of continuous living despite the loss.

I feel lost, ungrounded, dislocated, as if my roots have been pulled up. My old life has fallen apart and my new life, one without my mother to show the way, has not yet been fully realized. I now inhabit a nebulous space between stories. Somehow, without knowing the way, I must lean into this emptiness. Like the leaves who trust the life they sprout into, I must learn to trust whatever emerges in me.

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