One challenge after another hits. Not one, but two loved ones are diagnosed with a terminal illness. A surprise divorce. A friend dies. Another loved one in the hospital. A job ending.
After experiencing all of the above, I had to stop what I was doing. Life was taking on a whole new seriousness. Because in the same time frame in our very large extended family, we had two babies being born, four new homes established, two new jobs started; there were stubborn character traits softened and the redeeming of a father-son relationship.
There was something ground- breakingly persistent here. Life, like a northwoods lake twice a year, was turning over.
For those of you who don't know, lake turnover is the seasonal movement of water in a lake, a process of the dense lower layer of a lake rising to become the upper, less-dense layer.
Life is constantly moving, turning over, and over, in cycles.
When the fear of death threatens to isolate or abandon us and tries to draw the very energy out of us, there is another lesson to be learned from the lake: that life is contained, transforming. We aren't alone or abandoned. Life doesn't work in linear finite ways. We can embrace the full cycles of Life.
It is allright to cry, and let the fear gather in the eyes and be washed away. We are more than the physical body that starts out small, grows and then fails us. Who we are and who we love is about Spirit and our individualized expressions of Life. In our most challenging times, we let the natural light of Spirit transform us and let our dense lower sense of ourselves and loved ones be lifted, pushed away by a lightness and warmth of our spiritual being.
The fruits of these challenges is that it forces us to experience each other in a new way – more spiritual. The passion, adventure, delight and drama of one, the energy, loyalty and love of another rises to the surface and we forgive the rest. Any regret, resentment, anger can be transformed like dead leaves into a rich and fertile place from which to grow stronger.
This is Life, continuing to create. There is constant renewal, as spring to summer to fall to winter and then over again. Though heart-rending challenges, we too are turning over, seeing ourselves and others in a new light. Life is consistent, insistent and persistent. We can never lose one another when we acknowledge who we are spiritually, in these cycles of light and life.
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016