The dark days of winter seem endless. Before the vernal equinox, while the wind still cuts and winters bite still holds tight its grip, the assurance of spring, the return of brighter days are promised by the welcome sight of barren ground covered in a carpet of small white flowers – Snowdrops.
These tiny flowers are givers of hope. The first to bloom forth from the ravages of winter. A tiny bulb buried deep in dark, cold, soil, pushes forth from land that has lay dormant under frost and snow, to reveal a delicate flower. Then these beautiful snowdrops amass together, creating such a beautiful spectacle that people travel from a far to look upon their beauty.
Snowdrops teach us much about healing and strength, about hope and endurance as well as the power of support.
The time after birth trauma can be dark and hostile. Many of those affected feel alone, abandoned and isolated. They can feel buried by emotions and feelings they may not understand, overwhelmed at the weight this places on them. Like a tiny snowdrop, those suffering can feel like they are buried deep in trauma’s soil. Light is no where to be found and the coldness of the isolation felt can leave ones feeling frozen, unable to see a way out, to feel hope. Life itself may feel impossible.
However it is at this very time that snowdrops find the strength to search for the smallest warmth and light that grace winter days. They know that with strength and perseverance they can push through the dark ground and bloom forth for all to see. So too, despite the depths of trauma’s grip you can find the strength to push through, and grow beyond it.
Growth after trauma can seem impossible. It will take all your strength to believe that finding any light and life again is possible. Little by little, you will begin to push forward, each day a little further will you go. This takes time and effort, after all the weight of trauma is heavy. As snowdrops seek to break free from the cold soil, the more they begin to feel any warmth the winter sun casts on the ground, this encourages them more, and soon they also feel the light rains that soften them and give them nourishment. As you endeavour to grow again after trauma encouragement will come in the forms of small achievements and goals. These are warming to you, giving you strength. So too the rain of self care and support you seek can nourish you and help you to find more strength to push forward. This growth is new life, a change from what was before.
Yet even as the snowdrop reaches the surface and breaks forth, it still has battles to face. So fine and fragile, the land is still cold, yet the snowdrop is strong. It knows that soon spring, warmth and life will return and it is part of the journey that heralds it. It knows too that it is not alone, for all around are many snowdrops who also are pushing forth.
So, you also will continue to fight many battles as you try to grow after birth trauma, but do not doubt your strength. Also do not doubt the strength that comes from others who like you are seeking to break free from the weight of trauma’s grip. Just like snowdrops stand together, to battle the biting winds and cold frosts, find others too that will stand by your side, giving you strength and protection. It is this that creates the most beautiful spectacle that will make others stop and look in wonder. As we all stand together survivors, we leave others in awe. We also give hope to others affected, helping them also to break free and bloom just like a snowdrop.
It is said in myth that snowdrops are a powerful herb antidote to poison. While snowdrops may eventually fade to give way to the emergence of spring, their power can remain. The power they carry can fight off poison that seeks to take life. Your believe, strength and hope just like the snowdrop can fight trauma’s poison. Instead of halting life, it gives life, new life that while changed, has so much to offer.
So go take a look, go gaze upon the carpets of snowdrops that cover the earth. Let their beauty fill you with strength and hope. Just like a snowdrop you can break free of trauma’s grip. You can grow and show your beauty, giving hope to others as you do so. Just as the snowdrop assures of springs return, or life starting a new, so too can you find life beyond birth trauma.
(Photo courtesy of Wendy Harward)