Out in the park today, it struck me that with each passing year, I become more aware of the tragedies and desolation that life can bring, thus rendering me a little more broken, a little more bitter, and a lot more pessimistic with each birthday that rolls around.
It seems so cruel and deceitful that I began my life idealistic and naive, enraptured by things such as sunshine, dandelions and butterflies; with energy that knew no bounds; imagination and wonder that knew no limits. Back then, I couldn’t fathom how there could be any greater sorrow than dropping an ice cream, scraping my knees, or not winning a prize at a birthday party.
With maturity brings more excitement, more new beginnings, but more awareness of pain. The first day at school, the agony of being rejected by peers, or the half-hearted, non committed answers from a parent who’s too busy to listen to my questions. My first love, then first broken heart, the death of a grandparent, the awakening to the existence of world conflicts and the word “war”, the reality of corruption, and the growing realisation of all the ugliness of human nature.
By my mid thirties, awareness of distant sorrows that happened to other people had now become my own: chronic illness, divorce, sharing in the pain of close family and friends struck down by gross misfortune, through premature and completely unfair circumstances.
And I grew more bitter. Why? Just why would a “loving” God let us experience such beauty and joy as children, lure us in with a false sense of happiness in this world, only for us to find out the truth: that this world is full of evilness, and pain that is so much more horrifying than anything we could ever comprehend?
Then suddenly, in the new truths I am discovering, I realised one more: Yes, this world does bring pain, and disappointment, and tragedies that I cannot avoid – try though I may. And that is exactly why I was permitted to see the sunshine, the rainbows, the magic of silver dew glistening on the morning lawn. I needed a cushion of happiness, hope and positivity before I could even begin to be prepared to face what life would ultimately bring. Instead of looking back with longing and a sense of betrayal at an innocence lost, I am reminded fondly of the well of happy memories I now have at my disposal to draw on as required.
While I sit in the early autumn sunshine, a gentle breeze caressing me as it passes by, I see that all those wonders still exist. I thank God for being so lucky to be able to still see them now, in the rainbow of flowers blossoming around me. I’ll still see them tomorrow, and hopefully for the rest of my days, despite whatever pain I am acknowledging in my life. Not only see them, but see that they are reflecting back to me my own personal growth, and beautification through overcoming adversity.
Because, let’s be honest, the best, most beautiful, and healthiest of blooms had to be fertilised by some pretty serious shit, yeah?