It’s been storming all week in San Antonio and I can’t help but think of the night we said goodbye to Ellis. That evening brought not only an emotional storm, but an actual thunderstorm as well. I’ve thought so many times about the significance of that storm, how it was such an obvious manifestation of what I was going through at the time. Later that evening my sister-in-law saw a rainbow on her way home from the hospital. Since then we’ve seen rainbows often, including a beautiful double rainbow the day Hunter and I took Ellis’ ashes to Enchanted Rock.
This past Saturday morning I took Zelda out for a walk and noticed just outside our house these beautiful white flowers that sprang up during the overnight rains. I was struck by how many there were and how swiftly they appeared. Now, just a few days later, they’ve started to wilt away, but I‘ve learned to make peace with impermanence. I can see both light and darkness, life and death, in the present moment, and realize that both are needed to create beautiful things.
As author Barbara Brown Taylor says, “New life starts in the dark.” Flowers begin as seeds hidden in the darkness of soil. Rainbows result from a dark and stormy sky. Babies are formed in the darkness of a mother’s womb. Ellis spent his life nestled in the warmth of my belly and lulled by the sounds of my voice and heartbeat.
Following Ellis’ death, the storm of grief descended upon me, releasing its tumult and shrouding me in darkness. Slowly, the chaos began to let up and I could see slivers of blue sky. Now I can feel the warmth of the sun and appreciate the beauty of new growth. I still have rainy days and I know more storms will come. Sometimes they might bring a light shower, other times a flood, but I know they‘ll also bring rainbows, flowers, and new life.