‘In the depths of winter, I finally learned there lay within me an invincible summer. And thar makes me happy, for it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger, something better, pushing right back.’ – Albert Camus
This quote encapsulates my life. Even in my greatest pain and anguish, I have always sensed that something resides in me that has the strength to overcome what I’m facing, even if in many ways I didn’t want to overcome it. In my darkest depression born as a result of intense suffering, I didn’t want to find the strength to carry on. I was angry with the world, with certain people, and with the Being or God that I believed was behind all that had happened to me. By giving up, it would show all of them what they had done to me and also relieve me of the courage and self responsiblity it would take to pick myself up and carry on. I knew that I could find a way forward, but many times I really didn’t want to. This is perhaps a very understated aspect of depression and suffering.
But the strength was there, and over time I have been able to tap into that resource but without fully understanding what it was. I have always been a pretty determined soul, to be fair. I have been emotionally and often physically isolated for a lot of my life and consquently I have relied on my own strength which came from my faith in a higher power. Previously, I saw this power as something outside of me, but that I could utilise for myself. I understood that even while in terrible pain, there is something beautiful and powerful within me that can overcome it.
I love the symbolism of the seasons because to me nature is consciousness manifest, and of course we are inseparable from nature. The seasons are its ever changing forms; the ongoing cycle of life. More than this, however, winter speaks to me of being devoid of hope, hibnation, feeling cold and isolated, of sadness. By contrast, summer is beauty at its peak; flowers in bloom, long evenings, hope, happy times. Of course, this is symbolism at its most dualistic and I recognise the beauty in all seasons, such as the beauty of snowfall in winter.
However, summer points to the eternal soul; the essence that cannot be destroyed even when the cold comes and appears to take it all away. I have come to realise, mainly through meditation, that I am that, even if I don’t always realise it (and, to date, often don’t realise it).
May this blog remind me of that.