I read this quote on Facebook and fell in love with it. I’ve now adopted it as my new motto and am trying to put it into practice. My website has the title, ‘Sunshine after the rain.’ I called it this as I started writing my blog when I had not long come out of a difficult period in my life. I’ve been through many of life’s ‘storms’ and have been content in the past just to congratulate myself on having survived.
I’m not quite as old as Meryl Streep, but I have been aware for some time that life is indeed a gift, and a very precious one at that. But life isn’t always easy and it can be hard to keep walking, let alone dancing, when things get tough. One lesson I have learnt over the years is, that worrying doesn’t change anything. It’s time and energy wasted; time and energy that could be spent learning to ‘dance in the rain.’ Now don’t get me wrong? I don’t mean this literally. You won’t see me dancing down the street when I’m going through some crisis or if something sad has happened.
The way I interpret this is, instead of dwelling on the negative side of our situation, we should look for the positives. Sometimes that can be hard, or even seem impossible. Little things like being thankful for those around us who are supporting, or going through it, with us, can help to bring a smile and make us feel better, even if only for a moment. But our lives are made up of moments and I believe that is what it means to embrace life. To try to make every one count. I haven’t always done that in the past.
This is especially relevant for me at the moment. Easter is fast approaching. But for a long time I dreaded this time of year. My daughter was born on Easter Monday. Easter is the time that Christians celebrate Jesus dying, then rising again to give us a new life. My daughter passed away, 17 days later.
People told me that I should try to remember the happy times. For a long time this seemed to me to be an impossible goal. She was so sick and every one of her 17 days seemed to bring a new crisis. But now I remember how happy I was when she was born; the feelings of love that overwhelmed me as I sat beside her incubator, singing little songs I made up, just for her. I can even still feel her tiny hand grasping hold of my index finger and that too makes me smile. We didn’t have photographs of her without tubes and wires, but a lovely lady drew this from a photograph, and this too makes me smile.
If only I’d been able to do that sooner.
One of my favourite things is a rainbow. They only appear after it’s been raining and when the sun is shining. Perhaps if we can bring some sunshine into our dark times, even if it’s only a tiny flicker, we might make our own beautiful rainbows, out of our stormy times.
Over the past few years I’ve been learning to embrace life, but now I’m going to try to learn to dance in the rain too. This year I’m not dreading Easter. After all, Life is a gift.
Photos Isabel’s own, apart from the Meryl Streep photo.