Posted by: Nancy | May 5, 2013


bleeding heart

I’ve been struggling to understand how to reconcile two alternate human traits — how we can be so fragile and yet so resilient.

It is so little to be missed. Just a breath, really, and then the delicate, insubstantial wisp of life is gone. Utterly gone.

It may be that we are always in the presence of death. It may be that some see and feel it more closely than others; sometimes we may not notice it all until it is within our immediate circle. We forget about it until we cannot ignore it.

I have mourned the loss of many friends recently. I have been surprised and saddened; I have cried for the gaping loss and emptiness. I have cried for my own loss and for the loss of others who loved the dead and now go on alone.

And yet… elsewhere, expecting to see death, I am surprised by the display of enormous willpower and unknown strength. The tenacity of living.

In the midst of frailty, in the feeling of being breakable and insubstantial, there can appear a vast power of living.

How strong we are.

How fragile we are.

This week, in my garden, I found my early spring bleeding heart plant bowed with snow. It had been a freakish snowstorm, and now it looked so sad I turned away, not wanting to dwell with the image. The next morning, the snow had dropped away and the pale crimson blossom stood out brightly, still full and healthy.

Today it was bobbing and bouncing  in the breeze , and I imagined it stretching gently, equally happy to greet the rain as the sun.

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