a certain darkness

Whenever I hear Greensleeves I think of my mom.

When I was a little girl–maybe five or six—I made my way, one late night, into her room…the orange embers from her cigarette glowing in the dark…her seated on the chair there by her bed and some version of the song playing on the record player. She was crying.

“Come sit with me,” she said.

I curled up in her lap.

She cried. I let her. And we fell asleep together.

And so the melancholy I feel when I hear this song is only natural. It just comes and I let it.

Last year I moved from the home I had owned since 2001…had lived in for nearly fourteen years. I raised my children there…the three of us. It was my first home…a new adventure…a new beginning. Hank was six and Helen was three when we moved in. Going through boxes and drawers and attic tossings, I naturally came across a lot of “things” that provoked melancholy within me.

One particular afternoon while packing, I discovered a box full of photos from my early days with kids…the joyful images of an older time…the hope and joy of a new and wondrous marriage. I sat down on the kitchen floor and picked through the photos one by one…smiles, laughter, joy, memories.

And then she came in the room…and I let her.

“Oh there you are melancholy. Oh how I love you…this recognition of time passing, love lost, children growing, moving on…this delicious moment of now. Here you are. Come sit with me.”

I gently placed the photos back in the box and set them aside…and made a decision to be melancholy…to cry…cry really hard. But I needed more than this box, the empty kitchen, the empty house. So I pulled up Greensleeves on my itunes…let the soulful noise of it play out through the echoing kitchen and I cried.

I lay down on the kitchen floor and cried. And cried. And cried.

Oh the joy of this…as I recall it now…as I feel it now. And when I could cry no more, I changed the music, picked up the box of old photos and finished packing up the final items.

I wonder how much more peaceful the world might be…if we tried not to fix, silence, make-better, avoid, cope with or run away from the sorrow…but instead just felt it…welcomed it…joyfully set it free.

“Come sit with me,” she said. And so I did.