I have not written in a while. The truth is this blog started off mapping an external journey that I would take yet that journey truly took me on a very internal journey. I am not sure what I went looking for; maybe peace, maybe God, maybe clarity. I am not even sure if I found any of it ; but I found a thirst for each of these but came to the conclusion that I can be on a quest for it all from exactly where I am. The truths surround us everyday, everywhere. Buddha left his palace and roamed the Magadha country in search for the truth but truly became enlightened when he sat under a tree. Our first place of prayer is truly in our hearts. In light of that there is a little observation I would like to share with you, from Toronto.
The title of this blog is pretty straightforward and should not be all that surprising. However, I feel like it is quite revolutionary and that it is too often forgotten: that after the night comes the day and after the Winter comes the Spring.
I must say, this has got to me one of the harshest winters I experienced. We had a lot of snow, but snow if fine: it was just a long, cold , harsh winter. It’s been said we were paying for the lack of winter we experienced last year. We were well into April and it felt like winter wasn’t ending.
Ten days ago, I wondered when Toronto’s winter would end. Today, I feel like we have hit full on summer. I can’t help but have a skip in my step and a smile plastered to my face. I can’t help but watch every flower blossom and admire every tree that changes color. In the five years of living in Toronto, I do not remember seeing the trees growing their leaves so fast nor the flowers blossoming so rapidly. Maybe I never payed attention. But I am in awe every single day.
This tree was bare ten days ago and is now pink:
I see a beautiful sign in it all. It is not merely a bare landscape becoming a bearing landscape but a sign in it for all of us : that even when it feels like we have been put into our darkest winter : it could very well be that we are about to experience our best Spring. There is a beautiful quote by Imam Ali (as) that states” Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, for it is only in the darkest nights that the stars shine brilliantly.” Sometimes we need a winter to help us appreciate our Spring even more, to take the time to appreciate each flower that blossoms.
Secondly, an important lesson from all of this is that everything has its place. There is a time for the night and a time for the day and there is a time for the winter and one for the spring. Do not doubt that one will not come without the other. They come hand in hand. When times are tough, do not doubt the good times and when times are good, do not forget the tough. Smile through them all. Plant your seeds on the cold, dark days and watch them grow as soon as the sun shines.
There is great beauty in the winter and that is that it strips us bare of almost everything and then the spring comes to replenish us with the new and healthy and we are re-born stronger. I do not see it as a coincidence that September to May is a 9 month period. It is a period of new life.