Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
TITLE: Moving Forward
By Ruth Rater
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As I glance tentatively out the window, the first thing I notice is the clean sunlight dancing off of the dew on the early morning flowers. How many days has it been since I ventured outside? How many more will I keep myself closed in? I know it is the first day of spring – my calendar has told me so, yet I’m torn between the longing to release myself from this self-imposed prison of grief and the fear of leaving part of myself behind.
Just a few short months ago mom and I were planning our annual trip together. “It just isn’t fair” the grieving part of me cried. “I don’t want to do this life without her!” I start to turn away from the window, angry that life is bursting outside as if it didn’t concern itself with the deep ache in my heart, but I can’t. I have my arms wrapped around myself trying to hug the pain away. I am 20 years old and have lost my mother, my best friend, and I don’t know what to do without her.
Through another endless stream of tears, something outside catches my eye. It is a tiny butterfly. Suddenly something mom told me one day came to mind. She had said that someone told her that butterflies were God’s way of letting us know that people we love are always with us. I realized I was holding my breath. Could it be true? Was mom out there calling me to come outside? Without really thinking about it, I felt myself open the door. I took two small steps onto the porch and just stood there.
The sunlight was dazzling, the smell of the fresh spring morning forced its way into me and I was instantly filled with hope. A sliver of the grief melted from my shoulders that were weary of despair. I frantically looked around for the butterfly until I noticed it on a flower in the garden mom planted last winter. I realized that I wasn’t alone. Mom was here – her touch of love in every flower, her love of life and God securely etched in my heart. God was there too. I felt his presence like a blanket of warmth and grace pulled around me.
The journey is laid out before me. God, mom, and I will walk together. Spring is a good place to start.
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