It was a hard winter here in the Southeast — and in much of the country. In Middle Tennessee, we had many sleepless nights filled with worry about frozen faucets, icy trees and snapped power lines. It was a nail-biter for sure. Not only did the weather take a toll on homeowners and commuters, it also did a number on the landscaping.
I love to plant pansies in the fall — they're a great way to add color to an otherwise dismal winter landscape. Pansies are usually able to survive our generally mild winters here and are either still blooming or have "come back" by early spring. But not this year. This past season my poor pansies were doomed early on. The terra cotta pots once filled with colorful blooms and greenery became covered with a shriveled mass of dried up stems. No signs of life.
Until the other day.
We need to recognize the traits we share with that pansy. We need to see that we, too, are strong and able to survive. When battered by the storms and difficulties of life, we may feel hopeless and ready to give up, but if we muster the strength to press on and push forward, we can make it through.
If you're struggling with a storm in your life, if you feel like you just can't take one more thing going wrong, if you're ready to sit down and cry or curl up and die — just think of the pansy. That tiny flower's will to survive and strength to keep going are not traits reserved for our "natural" world; they are traits that exist in every one of us. And I am convinced that we're much more resilient than we think.
Some trials in life are more difficult than others. The aggravation of a cracked water pipe can't compare to the trauma of battling cancer, but all of our struggles require perseverance and determination. Whether it's a life-threatening illness, overwhelming grief or a series of setbacks, frustrations and disappointments, keep pushing. Keep going — and growing! — until you break through to find the sunshine on the other side.
Have you been awed by the resilience reflected in the natural world? Is there someone whose resilient spirit you admire? Is that someone you?