It feels like spring is finally springing. I walked around today without a coat, knelt by some crocuses and took a deep breath. It occurred to me as I sat in the dirt that this spring I am feeling rather reflective.

Much of this is rooted in that I’m watching my little girl grow up so quickly. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I first held wee Cate or watched her crawl or walked her to Junior Kindergarten. Now she is in grade 5 and about to graduate to middle school (she even had a grad photo taken. Ha!). Though she is rapidly changing, she is still so much a little girl. She doesn’t seem eager to be more than ten years old. I love this.

At the same time I am keenly aware that she has already experienced much in her youth: a Dad with MS, a Grandpa who died too soon and a Gran who has to live in hospital. Through the work of her parents she routinely sees street life, mental health challenges, substance addiction and even more tragic death. Lately she is learning some tough life lessons at school. Not easy stuff.

I’m thinking though that there really is something to being able to experience true joy because you also know what it is to grieve. In a sense you cannot have one without the other. And Cate definitely has the ability to be joyful.

Our afternoon went something like this: Cate ran out of school, laughing and skipping, surrounded by some of her best friends. They all ran to our home, gobbled up a snack and proceeded to jump on our neighbour’s trampoline for more than an hour. They made up silly jokes and later even convinced me that I had to jump too (quite a sight I tell you). This evening we’ve been sitting together with music on, occasionally dancing, only breaking to eat cookies and drink tea. Now she’s back outside and singing, though not before savouring pretty much every bite of that chocolate chip cookie.

My prayer for Cate (and I’ve told her so) is that she would retain the ability to hold grief and joy in balance: that she wouldn’t be fearful of experiencing either one. I hope she will always dance without inhibition, savour cookies, cry when she needs to and find the spring in any season.