Loss is a big word.

I was thinking about the word “loss” yesterday as my arborist completed day five of our post-2014 ice storm clean up.

Our woods have experienced a loss. Many saplings and trees were damaged beyond salvation during Mother Nature’s winter ice storm whirlwind in February. A lot of trees were salvageable and as our arborist and his crew righted our trees and made them safe, I thought about loss in the context of the cycle of nature.

This loss to our woods, a nature made culling, has opened up the canopy of our trees. Light will reach the woodland floor where it hasn’t in years and years. That means with proper care and love, our woods will now renew itself.

So in a sense, the loss of tree and plantings courtesy of ice storm 2014 will have a positive side. That positive side is new growth and renewal.

But what I am also wondering is, can we as humans, apply that to our own existence as well?

We lose people in our lives for various reasons all wound up in the cycle of life and death. But what if we looked at it as God pruning our life canopy, much like Mother Nature did with the tree canopy of my woods during Ice Storm 2014 but a few weeks ago?

I am not trying to trivialize the losses we experience as human beings, only trying to see it as a life pruning that opens us up for renewal and new growth, or perhaps to say God’s plans for us are not originally what we thought and we need to have faith.

Whether the loss is of a friend or loved one, or the loss is due to death or life circumstance, it hurts. You are hurt and sad, you can be angry for a time, and then comes the life canopy opening to the sky for renewal and new growth. So if you can let go of the negativity and hurt, you get peace and acceptance. And one day, your heart is lighter and you are once again looking forward and are hopeful.

Getting to that forward place and feeling hopeful is work. I know because this is sometimes inner battle I have struggled with. But I figure at the end of the day we need to live and just let stuff go. Release it back. If you have ever had people in your life you could consider stuck for lack of a better description you can see what hanging onto the bitterness and negativity does to them. It is personal choice whether or not you accept that for yourself. Again, not trivializing this as it can be really hard work.

Losing people to death has a finality, obviously. So once you get though he cycle of grief and loss you can hope to put a period on it. Losing people to other life circumstances can be a little more tricky, and the emotions there can be quite complicated. But loss isn’t the end of everything, unless you allow it, right?

This week a dear friend’s little sister unexpectedly became a young widow. I understand the position all to well and a few short years ago I watched my sister struggle through the same thing.

It is so hard, no other way to describe it. Both of these women lost husbands who were extraordinary human beings. I wish my friend’s sister all the peace and love her world can give her because this is grief and pain you wish on NO human being. And when you are the loved one of someone going through this there are just periods of helplessness, because nothing you do feels like you are making it better.

Life is a cycle. Do we glow with it, grow with it , or rail against it? I don’t have those answers. I just saw what some will say is a weird parallel. But if you can think of certain events as life pruning, maybe it makes it easier to release the negative, embrace the positive, and retain the hope we as human beings need to grow?

Thanks for stopping by on a slightly contemplative Sunday before yet more snow. But the good thing is I have seen a few bits of green emerging as just the tiniest of green tips below some snow that melted. You know, renewal?