It snowed yesterday. Not heavily, just enough to make the sidewalks slick and the roads hazardous. I watched people frantically shoveling while the snow was still falling, the snow covering up any bare spots they had managed to make. I laughed, but not at them- just that any of us should ever think that we have any control over the forces of the universe.
I used to think I was in "tune" with the universe by adhering to a strict holiday schedule. At Easter, the patio furniture came out, along with Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. In the summer, flowers and mulch, and red, white and blue. In the fall, pumpkins and mums. In winter, Christmas decorations came out, then Christmas decorations went back in. Before spring arrived once again, some red for Valentine's Day and some green for St. Patrick's was not unheard of. I liked thinking that if I adhered to a specific regimen, that it meant I was in control of at least that part of my life.
When you are a caretaker to a sick spouse, there is no semblance of control. Vacations get interrupted or canceled entirely, with no notice. Family gatherings, holiday parties, dinner with friends, even normal work days, are not sacred. Anything can happen at any time. So I overcompensated by careful and intense holiday and seasonal planning. "Look," it seemed to indicate to others. "Look, I DO have my shit together, see? I'm not as much of a mess as you think."
Control. What an illusion. There is no control, not over anything. And once we come to grips with the fact that we are all just floating around on a ball of dirt in the galaxy, that every minute we are on it is a miracle, we can then surrender. Surrender to the forces that be, surrender to fate, or weather, or time. Surrender to what our lives mean.
I have experienced the thrill of surrender, and I can say that my life is vastly changed. Seasons for me blend from one to another in a pleasant, sensual, seamless transition, and weather no longer is the protagonist or the antagonist of my life. I no longer curse the snow, complain about heat and humidity, or run from the rain. I simply am in the moment, and surrender to what will be.
Surrender. Don't try to control things that are uncontrollable. As a widow, you have already experienced the universe's uncontrollable nature. It took your spouse. See death as simply a way to enjoy life. Because death is always at everyone's door, and we should all live as if it is our last day.
- Mary Oves, Be a Bada** Widow.