I live a “feast or famine life”. Nothing new really, but exacerbated by the absence of my best friend. Today I hover under the comforter reading the Scriptures, Anne Lamott’s latest, Hallelujah, Anyway, and try to find the courage to face the world. This is a weekend when I have few plans. Neither have I reached out to make any of my own, to be “social” to pack seeds for Feed my Starving Children at our church. To call a friend, to do something kind for someone I love.

And Spring has turned on us again. Sent a fierce north wind, dropped the temperature to a bare 40 degrees. The oaks, leafing out, sway from trunk to topmost branches. Here and there a branch hits the roof or deck. Living under the oaks, falling sticks are a way of life, an occupational hazard. My neighbor intones, dragging his garbage receptacle across his own acre, “sticks, sticks and more sticks.”

This morning I muse on loneliness, widowhood and expectations. I muse on love, heaven, missing and what it means to be needy. I have never wanted to be “needy” to be a “case”. I have never wanted to be weather-affected, a person who rises and falls with the weather report. But I admit that today I am not only weather-affected, I AM needy, lonely and wishing for a quick fix. What do I tell my clients, ask them to do on a daily basis? I ask them, if they are the journaling type, have a writing propensity to identify 3 things they are grateful for at the end of the day before sleep. This is good psychology, researched based, (an Oprah reminder!) an antidote to the “blues”. And it is Biblical.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall fall exhausted.
But they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Therefore on this cold weekend I will acknowledge my need for succor, for courage for a change of mind and heart. I will relinquish my pride. I will rise, shower, walk on the prairie path regardless of its hazards, I will breathe the frigid air and notice how bravely blossoms defy the wind. I will clean my closet switching it from winter to spring (albeit prematurely). I will bring treats to my friend who is having company. I will go to church and visit those whom I love who are suffering. I will trust for “renewed strength” for body, mind and spirit. And In-between I will sit with what it sometimes means to be a widow on a weekend.

April Carlson, MSW, LCSW, LLC