For Those Tears I Died

This pen and ink I drew way back when (late 90’s) is inspired by a song called For Those Tears I Died by Marsha Stevens, written in the early 70’s.  I was becoming a teenager in that decade and that song was my lifesaver from the waves of angst that washed over me.  It is the only song I ever memorized on the piano and can play it to this day.  I am not much of a pianist, not like my mom and oldest sister who can play anything.  The refrain of the song is stuck in my head this Holy Saturday, along with the image of God’s Hand holding life’s teardrops, especially the death of Jesus on the Cross: “And Jesus said, ‘Come to the water, stand by my side, I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied; I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkn???????????????????????????????ess you cried, and I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.'”

Waiting for Rebirth

A long time ago I watched the movie Fly Away Home with my kids.  It is about a little girl who lost her mother and comes to live with her father, an artist that her mother had long ago divorced because of the financial instability of their lifestyle and also because she herself was an unfulfilled artist needing to follow her own path.  The girl is grieving her mother and at first hates being at her father’s, though it is in very beautiful Canadian farmland.  The adjustment is difficult and painful to watch.

One day the girl goes out exploring and discovers a nest of goose eggs that had been abandoned by their mother when bulldozers encroached upon their riverside sanctuary.  The girl carefully moves the eggs into a bureau drawer inside the barn and nestles them in a bed of colorful scarves with lights attached to keep them warm.  Every time she opened the drawer to check on the eggs, waiting impatiently for them to hatch, I was moved by the image of the secret drawer filled with the hope of new life.  It was a silent beauty to behold and I felt the deeper symbolism of the egg being the womb and of this girl who lost her mother was now becoming a mother to the unborn life waiting to be born, guarding them, warming them, waiting in hope for the miracle of life.  I also associate the eggs as the birth of ideas, dreams, and creativity.  At some point, I set up a still life and painted the scene of eggs nestled in some of my own colorful scarves.  I didn’t try to hatch them,  I just painted them.

As the movie progresses, the girl is successful in bringing forth the baby geese  from the eggs and she soon has a gaggle of wild Canadian geese following her around. The imprint of her face peering in the drawer at them instantly made her their mother upon their birth.  A new purpose is born in her and it will heal her broken heart.  Eventually, the drama unfolds to the problem of how to get these growing geese to migrate south since their goose mother can’t lead them.  The story ends happily, thank goodness, with their triumphant journey south led by the girl and her eccentric but genius father in flying contraptions he invented.

I watched the movie again with my husband the other day, our own nest empty, our own small gaggle of geese children having migrated to near and far away places.  Yes, I know, a sad time in one sense, but also joyful beyond words because as any parent can attest, the meaning of contentment is seeing your children take flight and find their happiness.  Hopefully, they will always remember the way home and come visit.

Another level to the meaning of contentment is when the grandchildren arrive and the joy of watching them become parents is multiplied exponentially!  Watching our grandaughter’s dedication ceremony the other day and awaiting the birth of another grandchild in the summer fills our hearts with unspeakable joy.  Yes, they will struggle raising their babies, as we did, but if they are steady, faithful, trusting in the grace and mercy of God, they will reap the rewards of their labor of love.  Three guiding principles I believe helped us regain our lost footing and be steady on that journey after many mistakes??????????????????????????????? are “There is no fear in love” (that one is in the Bible somewhere), “Each child is a gift from God” and “Give me humor or give me death.”

Waiting for rebirth has many layers of meaning and, hopefully, many cycles of springtime to cherish the miraculous moments of new life being born in our hearts and souls.  Maybe it takes a lifetime to find the true meaning of an individual’s life, watching and nurturing a dream incubate, give birth, guard it from harm, raise it with love and watch it take flight.  I have other eggs in my drawer, the stories I’ve written, the artwork I’ve created and hope will one day take flight.  For me, the question is not the one from American Express, ‘What’s in your wallet?” but instead “What’s in your drawer?”  May it one day be a dream fulfilled!