On March 13th, one week before Spring officially begins in Canada, we received 16 cm of snow! Today, only three days later, I can see the soil in my garden for the first time in months and our little backyard pond has thawed for the first time in weeks. This month, the world has been fluctuating between Spring and Winter on a daily basis it seems.
The same has been true in the human world. My sister, who is visiting my mother in Barbados, has shared photos of my mom on Facebook. I am shocked to see that my mom, who has been slipping away from us mentally for years now, has become a shrunken version of herself. Where once she was a tall, sturdy woman with high cheekbones and lively eyes, she now looks gaunt and emaciated. I have not had an easy relationship with my mom, but I can see death in her face, and it fills me with grief for the strong-willed and passionate woman who gave birth to me.
While I process the end of my mother’s life, I am immersed in stories of new beginnings. My son celebrated his 23rd birthday last week, which took my husband and I back in time to the day of his birth. One of my colleagues gave birth to her first child last week. My nephew has announced that his wife is pregnant. Their child will be the first one from the young generation in our family. And we will end this month with the wedding of my step-daughter on March 29th; which happens to be the day of my mother’s birth.
And so it goes, life pressed up against death; spring pushing up against winter; new souls born into this world while old souls give up material existence; joy pressed up against sorrow.