Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Joy: Renewal

It didn't register that Easter was here already until my mom texted me 2 days before. I realized that it's a holiday that I've always blindly followed-suit with and never gave much thought to it other than which fun hat do I get to wear if I'm expected to go to some sort of gathering or to church.

This sent me on a spiral of digging around my thoughts on how I do or do not feel about the holiday, religion, and my own personal journey.  These have been constant questions over the past 3 years for me. My AA meeting Saturday further helped move my pondering to the direction of renewal, rebirth, spring. With that idea it became very clear to me that the Easter Sunday that has meant the most to me ever was 2019, 3 years ago.

You can read the original post from 2019 here: http://jennyschu.blogspot.com/2019/04/river-terrace-installation-hope.html

I had agreed to do the River Terrace Installation. I was still drinking at the time when I decided I could take on this project but maybe only for about a month before I joined AA and stopped drinking for good. I didn't know it then but this installation would become a representation of my own renewal. I was probably going to 5 meetings a week between work and working on this installation piece at the start. Looking back on it, it was probably really good that I had this large commission to focus on. The first year of sobriety it tough. Also, I would have never gotten it done by the Easter deadline without all those meetings.  Easter wasn't the dedicated deadline in the beginning, but at the rate I had been sewing the panels together we decided that it could be unveiled at Easter service.  I went to that service and my Dad joined me,  I cried the entire time.  Everything had more meaning and nowadays I cry harder with tears of joy than I do in sadness. 

I didn't originally think I would name this piece as it was to be a possession of the church's and not my own, but that first year and working on this piece gave me so much hope, so it is titled Hope Flows. It still does flow through me on a regular basis. The turnaround my life has made taking things in small chucks, one day at a time, I had no idea how bright the future would be. It just keeps getting better.

Renewal and rebirth for me is about learning from your past and adjusting or changing so that you don't keep making the same mistakes that led you to the bad spots in the first place. 

Twice last week the story about how we walk down the same street over and over and there's a hole. We keep falling into the hole. Eventually you recognize that you're coming up on the hole but you still fall in. After a while you eventually remember that the hole is coming and you can avoid it altogether. Then later still, you may eventually decide to take another street.

 I read that in my meditation book and one of Bryan's morning meditations started off with that so I overheard it while I was making us breakfast.  When the universe starts telling me something I'd better listen. So this time of year does have meaning, I'm ready to get outside.  I'm excited by the irises, daffodils and peonies that are starting to pop up.  I even split and moved a few plants on the handful of nice days that we have had. The specific day of Easter I worked and, sure, I'll eat candy, follow suit and if I happen to have the day off in the future I'll probably go to River Terrace Church to visit Hope Flows and have a good joyful cry.

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