From our first step until our arriving, we know that we carry love with us. We step out with family and friends who even this minute are wishing us well. We step out with relationships that nurture and sustain us. With love that holds on to us when we have trouble making our way.
Holding on to images of and memories of what has sustained us before, might be just the nourishment we need to keep us going. Who knows what we will experience in these coming days? Who knows what we will need? What we know is what we have carried along the way this far.
Sometimes holding on takes work. Sometimes it takes intention. Sometimes it’s painful, and wounding. As we make our beginning steps into Lent, this is a good time to be mindful of what we take with us. What are we holding on to? What may be just weighing us down? Wounds heal, but that healing takes time. This may be just the time needed to tend to them. These may days to hold the broken places up and see what light still shines in and through them. Leonard Cohen's beautiful words can companion these tender times, "Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
Other times, holding on feels as easy and as natural as taking our next breath. Life-giving. Encouraging. Inspiring. Holding on to memories that make you laugh out loud or smile with your heart, those kinds of holding on‘s don’t cost very much. They are like the sunshine following the rain, the spring that comes after a long, lonely winter.
I’m holding on with a grateful heart today as I am following this Lenten path. What I am carrying today will help me through the long nights, and the lonely days. They hold energy, and wisdom, and more than enough for my heart. What I carry with me reminds me at all the best times that I am not alone. God's loving presence is surely beside.