Waiting for the Breakthrough


As I write this I am taking a few days out of my usual routine for a mini working retreat. I am staying near a beautiful wetlands  area while I spend time planning for the months ahead and catching up on some of my backlogged computer work.

Today I went for a walk through these wetlands, which on the surface appear to still be caught up in the midst of Winter. Everything is brown and seemingly lifeless – the trees are bare and the earth is dry.

But, as I spend time walking mindfully through the paths that wind around these lakes, marshes and woods, I am aware throughout my being of a great sense of expectancy. There is an inner knowing that new life is hidden just under the surface, on the verge of breaking through.

This moment in time feels to me much like the moment when darkness begins to wane just before dawn, and the moment after one breath before the next occurs, and the moment at the end of sleep when the veil between realms is very thin – that moment when we hunger for light … for air … and for awakening.

This moment here in the wetlands is full of possibility and potential for what is to come next.

When I think of our world right now, I feel we are in that very same moment – before the break of dawn … between breaths … before awakening.

And while it may seem that the harshness of this Wintertime will never end, in reality we are on the verge of the breakthrough for which we long.

What is required from us in this moment is that we be still and mindful and full of care as we walk our paths through this time.

We must hold on and stay this course. And if we just look around we will discover that there is hope …  and it is everywhere … within every dry blade of grass … every bare branch … every darkened sky … and every slumbering soul.

For now, we must simply be with our uncertainty and our restlessness as we await the dawning of our potential … of New Life … of Spring.


Dr. Karen Wyatt is a hospice and family physician who writes extensively on spirituality and medicine, especially at the end-of-life. She is the author of the award-winning book “What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.” Connect with her at karenwyattmd.com, on Facebook at fb.com/karenwyattmd and on Twitter @spiritualmd.