On a recent warm February day I spotted a groundhog munching grass on a sunny hillside along the freeway. I wondered what became of that groundhog a few days later in the bitter cold and snow that followed the unseasonable day. Perhaps I don’t understand the groundhog at all, aside from hunger, why come out of the hole. Of course, you can’t remove hunger because it is the reason to come out, to trust the sun, to leave the dark safety of the den.
This winter has been long and dark for me. If not for the demands of caring for my children I would not have come out at all. The reality of the rest of my life not being what I had planned, paralyzed me. I have wallowed in it, let it be me. However, just as the groundhog is driven by the grumbling of an empty belly, the grieving heart eventually cries to be healed. Thankfully, faking it for the well-being of my children has been enough to remain able to look for the light of spring.
Be that as it may, there must be a great leap of faith to leave the den, stand on her hind legs and sniff the tender air. She must fight inertia to uncurl the tired and achy body, urged on by the primal desire to fill up the emptiness and move toward the sun lit opening. Nevertheless, it happens.
She accomplishes moving forward.
There is no longer a choice to stay here, whimpering in the dark, sighing over lost opportunity, asking what if and why. I see the sun, I feel the void. I’ll drag my raw frame toward the daylight. I will accept that there might still be bitter cold yet to come, for all that the promise of fresh nourishment, and to feel sunshine on my face again persuades me.