Still seeking signs of hope, love, and… (perhaps the word of the year) resilience?
It’s a difficult time – for some it’s almost impossible, for others it’s unimaginable, for many it’s just cancellations, restrictions, and extreme limitations… life on pause?
However, the recent newsletter from the kids’ school was packed with great ideas, enthusiasm and vibrant activity! Lots of people are doing a great job! Relaying that to the teenagers is another matter, but there’s a lot of work being done and positive energy being shared by many people at this difficult time.
I recently pondered ideas for a ‘print project’ touching on Spring/Easter/Lent and the coming festival time of year. By ‘print project‘ I mean a printed visual design, that can be shared with others to engage thoughts and feelings; a tactile card that can be placed on the fridge, mantelpiece, desktop… it’s what I do.
What’s so important, valuable or helpful about the coming Spring/Easter/Lent festival/tradition? Daffodils, bunnies, eggs, and traditional rituals… humm…?
As might be expected, talking about ‘hope’ recently, the Arch Bish of Cantaloop suggested ‘resurrection’. Within the horrors of our world, after death and emptiness, eventually we return to life. He suggested that signs of that eternal life is to be found all around us; shared and passed on given away by people every day. With this hope comes an energy to be and do things better. Though real, awful and debilitating “grief and death lies to us, and says there is no future…”, but a spirit of good resides…
In response to cancellations, restrictions, and extreme limitations, a good friend of mine said recently “Hope and Grace explode through time and space…”
Back to the a possible word of the year: resilience…
The dictionary says of the noun resilience, meaning ‘the act of rebounding’, from the Latin ‘resilire’, ‘to recoil or rebound’, ‘to jump again’ to ‘spring’. First recorded in the 1600s, the usage and meaning of the word has evolved, to describe being resistant or not susceptible to something. So it infers strength. The dictionary defines the word as “the ability to quickly become healthy, happy or strong again after an illness, disappointment or other problem. Or, something able to return to its original shape after being bent, stretched or pressed.” However not always a return. At the Stockholm Resilience Center, Director Lisen Schultz describes resilience as “a capacity to persist, adapt or transform in the face of change.” To adapt, transform and spring forward.
I wonder if the idea of ‘strength’ is unhelpful. An integral strength in humanity… perhaps not a ‘strength’, but an integral ‘spirit’ which is so much more than ‘strength’, that enables us to rebound. Yes, ‘spirit’ is a controversial term, so an integral ‘breath’ in humanity that enables movement. We breathe, we sigh, we shout, we cry out, we moan, we sing, we laugh, we talk – with an ongoing integral breath. Whether we feel strong or not, beyond culture, beyond language, beyond our understanding, we have an integral resilience.
So what does Spring/Easter/Lent look like in the light of lockdown, death, limitation and disease?
I hope that alongside impossible, unimaginable, cancellations, restrictions, and extreme limitations… we are able to breathe and find a recoil, a rebound, an unfurling, an opening-up where Hope and Grace might explode, and jump again!