Finding Gratitude within Pain and Transformation

Lessons from the March Wind

When life hits you 
with a sudden blast
like the strong March wind
that rips fresh buds 
off eager spring branches
you stare
at your bare twigs
and wonder 
if you have the energy reserves 
to start again.

You look down at the
expanse of bare earth 
around your tired roots
and want 
to crumble 
into its cold loamy humus
and give up the hope 
of winter’s end.

(Renewal is just a buzz word 
of the Already-Blooming
Why not give in 
to the decomposers?
They are always waiting anyway.

But even rot brings rebirth
even darkness 
and dank decay
made thick and putrid 
by the busy beetles
clears space 
for life to be born again.

Your fallen buds become 
soft and pungent in the folds of soil
and what you once 
held onto 
with all your might
what was torn 
from your grasp
by the reckless winds of life
has been transformed
into that which fuels you
and enables you 
to blossom again.

©Vixen Lea 2020

I originally wrote this poem one year ago, after my husband was taken down (quite literally) by a herniated disc in his neck. We were at the ER on his birthday (March 2nd), but it was weeks before he was able to receive an accurate diagnosis — let alone get the surgery needed to alleviate his pain.

Meanwhile, our kitchen and dining room were in the midst of a full remodel — and by this, I mean walls torn down to studs, wires dangling from the ceiling, appliances moved out, and me trying to feed a family of four. We had a microwave and a coffee pot on a card table. I was doing dishes in the laundry room sink.

Image by author | March 2020

My husband is an electrician and general handyman at everything, so he had been planning to do much of the finish work himself. But this injury took him out right before he was scheduled to install the pine ceiling and subsequent electrical work. He was in excruciating shoulder pain and unable to lift his right arm.

And little did we know that in just a few weeks a global pandemic was going to shut the world down (including the kids’ school and the companies we were counting on to rebuild our imploded kitchen).

I spent March 2020 in my own personal state of emergency.

Though my husband was the one suffering through the physical pain, I had to keep us all afloat during this time of utter chaos. I spent a lot of time sobbing in private so that I could stand upright for the family (and heat up some Stouffers for dinner). *

This poem is an offering of gratitude to the difficult experiences that shape us and transform us. I tried to hang on to an acceptance of our situation rather than spiraling down under the weight of it all. I kept reminding myself that, as with all things, This too shall pass.

We have come out the other side stronger, as a couple and a family. (And I now have a beautiful kitchen!)

©Skye Nicholson 2021

*A special gratitude to the friends who helped us out during this time– bringing meals, lending appliances, etc– and to my parents whose help was invaluable.

Image created by author using stock photo from Word Swag

This post was originally published in Being Known, a small but mighty publication on

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