Who is on the plum tree?
It is difficult when hardship, loss and misery make us despair. Despair is a shocking feeling. It steals all light. It permeates the muscles of the face. It seizes the neck in a gripping vice. It makes the stomach sick, filling it with the sourness of no hope. Behind our eyes, we are sick with sorrow. We want to rub the skin off our faces, vomit the poisoned world, run, scream, escape, disappear into no-thing.
The precious fades, as though it never was. Despair makes the precious ridiculous. Despair crushes innocence. Despair is the saddest of human things.
What can possibly make us open once more to possibility?
Once the shock of despair has been breathed into every pore and has permeated all organs, it stops attacking. It settles, calms, has had its way, has poisoned the soul. Hopefully, instead of vomiting, we have cried the bitter sadness out of us. Hopefully, we are spent, bitterness spewed. In this twilight transition between dark and dawn, there is no more resistance We are alone, without power, ravaged, reduced.
When all is lost, the heart, eternal flower that it is, begins a little flutter. Memories of the good and the beautiful filter through and bestow on the heart those tiny things for which we are grateful. Those tiny things keep the magic in the world alive. They may not seem like much in the scheme of things. They may be hard to acknowledge, as they do not solve problems. But they are sparkles of beauty powerful enough to light the dawn of a new day.
What sparkles of gratitude open your heart?