Spring Renewal: A Walk In The Snow
I love the renewal that comes with each season.I especially love the sense of rebirth when Spring starts to show her beautiful self to us each year.
Renewal always signifies to me the opportunity to start fresh, get a clean slate, do some “spring” cleaning, and clear out all of the cobwebs.
This line of thought always leads me to thinking about life here on earth and its continuous cycle of change as expressed in nature. That, of course, leads me further into more spiritual realms until finally, it makes me stand still and face the concept of life or … Life with a capital “L”.
So ... Life.
Life with a capital “L” tells me of the constancy, the forever and eternal nature of Life as viewed metaphysically or spiritually.
And that really is what I quest after constantly in my art, my spirituality and my every day endeavors.I want to know and prove the eternal nature of Life.I think most of us seek this kind of assurance and wisdom. We grapple with the question of what happens after we live our life here on this planet.
But … I do believe we all come equipped with an inner ability to sense, discern, and even come to an understanding of Life eternal and how it plays out in our own lives. Great spiritual leaders through the ages have taught and demonstrated the ongoing nature of Life – that it doesn’t end when we pass from this experience.
A year ago, my sweet mother finally made her journey to a new adventure.She passed on late in the evening on February 28th (it was already March 1st in my time zone).
My sister, Sara, and I were part of the same text message group when we received the news.She jumped onto the text immediately.Though it was 2 am my time, I was still awake and joined soon after.Minutes later, my brother, John, -- a sea-faring tugboat engineer who was out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico -- just happened to text my sister.
Sara immediately got all three of us on to the same text so that we could drink in the news of our Mom together.We were scattered across 3 different time zones spanning a continent and an ocean.It’s the only time we have ever been together on the same text message all at once when my brother has been out to sea.
We texted and wept together, and we all felt a certain degree of joy for what we finally understood to be our Mom’s newfound freedom.
We felt that sense of freedom, even in the midst of our tears and our longing to hold on to Mom.But, still, there was this insistent feeling that she was free to fly on with joy in her new experience.
Why did we feel that way?I don’t know. It was an intuitive thing. We all felt it.I think it was Mom’s loving message to us.I feel like she got us all together in this one extraordinary instance so that we could feel her love, and encourage us to release her without fear. And we could do it together.
I have friends and family who have reported beautiful experiences soon after their loved ones have moved on. In these moments, something would happen to reassure them that their loved ones were OK, that in fact, Life DOES go on.
I know, from a spiritual standpoint, that these are angel messages – messages from God – from Life -- reassuring, comforting and releasing us.These messages come to us in whatever form we can best understand.
The night Mom passed, my husband and I did not get to sleep until about 5 am.When we awoke late in the morning, we were met with the most beautiful white world of snow.It had started snowing during the wee hours of the morning.There was a pristine blanket covering over everything.
We decided to take a walk in the snow at our nearby park.The park was completely silent and empty of anyone but us.We slowly walked the mile loop through beautiful bare trees “in an alabaster forest" -- through two feet of fresh snow unbroken by anyone but the two of us and a few forest animals.
It continued to gently snow.We walked silently, thinking about Mom.We spoke at intervals about Mom.We shared our memories.I talked about growing up with her.And then we’d fall silent, feeling Mom there with us as we walked together in our aloneness. It was a holy experience. It was deeply comforting.
We all do different things to remember our loved ones, to memorialize that circle of love between us and them, and to hold on with faith and understanding to the continuity of Life even after they have passed.
I find that I can best pour my feelings and experiences into my music. My husband/songwriter, Peter Link does that too, in his creative work.
Months previous to this experience, Peter and I were deep at work on my CD, “Duets – Woman 2 Woman – Conversations with Wise Women in My Life.”We knew that one of the songs would be a conversation about mothers in general, and about my own mom in particular. But we had not settled on anything yet.
However, that walk that day in the snow was so powerful for both Peter and me.When we returned home, Peter said, “Our walk is the song.I’ll see you later.”He disappeared into the studio for the rest of the day.
Whenever Peter does this, I leave him alone, and only when he brings it up do we talk about the new song being born.I did not have to wait long.We talked, he worked, and within less than a week, we were listening to the beginning arrangement of this beautiful new song about my mom – and maybe yours, too.
It’s called “A Walk In The Snow.”
It was 6 months before I actually recorded “A Walk In The Snow.” During those months, I learned it, rehearsed it, and lived it -- and thought about Mom.Finally, in August of last year, I recorded the vocal with my duet partner, Jenny Burton.Ms. Burton brought her incredible wisdom, understanding, and artistry to this song.She brought the mothers in her life too.Together, we took a walk in the snow of our experiences and sang about our mothers and the eternal cycle of life therein.
As Spring begins to reveal her forever renewing and hopeful self, I share this song with you.This is my Ode to Life, my Song for Mom.This is my gratitude for the innate knowledge that Life truly goes on.Mom goes on.You go on. We all go on.
Life takes us forward on interesting, though often unexpected pathways.If we reach out to Life, we feel its eternal love all around us, no matter what the circumstance.I count on this.I rest in this innate feeling.I work to prove it every day.
I hope you enjoy “A Walk In The Snow”-- Music and Lyrics by Peter Link.Performed by Julia Wade and Jenny Burton.Dedicated to Gerry Bars.
Happy Spring Renewal!
A Walk In The Snow Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
Snow … We took a walk in the snow And thought about mom Like the golden winter leaves on saplings Frozen Frozen in time in an alabaster forest She hung on past her time Ah yes, long past her time To let go and flutter away
And we walked in the snow
She hung on, we thought, Because the tender thread Between mother and child Made the parting so hard to face And in the severance of souls Her heart could not stand The thought of that last embrace
But she’s gone Off on her journey To who knows where Leaving us here in mid air Leaving us here in mid air
Leaving us hanging out here in mid air Yet still with us On a walk in the snow On a walk in the snow
Snow … We took a walk in the snow And talked about mom As the ashen sky above hung heavy Struggling Struggling to find some kind of meaning We simply watched the snow Falling down from the sky And let go And sent her on her way
But we held to the thought That she lives in us still Beyond memory, but here In each step, in each breath, each tear We knew the life that is hers Is the same life as ours And cannot just disappear
So she’s gone Off on her journey To who knows where Soaring and laughing out there Soaring and laughing somewhere Soaring and laughing somewhere out there Yet still with us On a walk in the snow On a walk in the snow
And oh how the snow In its soothing adagio Rolls gently over my soul
Yes oh how the snow In its soothing adagio Rolls gently over my soul
We took a walk in the snow A walk in the snow And thought about mom