Spring brings the momentum of rituals: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, First Communions, graduations, weddings and engagements. Like every tentative budding plant, there is the wonder of expectation and promise. Moments glide by with predictable angst and emotion and celebration and then they are somehow confined to memory in tidy photos and posts. Some are shelved; others become vibrant realities, genuine turning points. Some simply burn out, and there are the ones that are recast by owners, reshaped to fit shifting realities and norms. Most invite some reflection now and then.
There is a certain pagentry to it all, the parade of a person’s life, that allows for conscious choice to be significant as memories are made, recalled and explored again later. The process gives meaning to the journey, evokes questions and sometimes provides answers that matter. Sometimes it unravels mystery to meaning, and sometimes it invites mindfulness of the mysteries that surround us.
Today, standing beneath a blue sky and then within a softly lit chapel, the process became clear again. There was stained glass with its flow inviting vision, and there were the decidedly simpler Stations of the Cross, pegged unobtrusively to the walls in monochromatic brown, earth tones. Somehow, looking at what is so very familiar can be so very revealing….each mirrored the process of remembering.
One captured the scalding pain that life can produce, the bitter brutality and the inescapable cruelty. The other celebrated the other side of it all: the dynamic and colorful threads that weave life together, the moments that easier to live and somehow help surviving through the other side. Both, amazingly, offer tender reminders that none of this human landscape is navigated in isolation; wherever I am, someone has been before me. I am never completely alone. There is always another if only I have the courage to see who has gone before me. The context may be different, but the human journey remains essentially the same over centuries and generations, cultures and ethnicities.
There is some whisper of wisdom in that awareness, some comfort and compassion, the kind that sustains and motivates and invites to more. There is that common denominator that somehow defies differences and enables possibilities. But that would be the same awakening of spring after the weight of winter, the same sense of new beginnings and rebirth and hope. And that can be discovered in very heart and home.