Monday, April 27, 2015

Nothing That Getting Rammed With A Truck Won't Fix

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. 
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I've recently rediscovered the joy of a good, long morning walk. For me, the walk is less about speed or exercise and more about exploring and taking time to stop along the way. Earlier this week, I met a neighbor who recycled more than 100 Easter lilies from her church’s alter. They were headed for the dumpster, but instead, now grace her front yard. Their rebirth celebrated every Spring with an intoxicating fragrance. But what is even more memorable about her yard is a battle-scarred tangerine tree.

The neighbor told me that despite her usual nurturing green thumb, the tree didn’t start producing
fruit until she took a hammer and started beating some sense into it. A commercial citrus grower advised her that when a tree fails to thrive in the groves and the obvious problems like pests or soil depletion are not the issue, it is not uncommon to ram a truck into it. The tree either dies or is shocked into remembering why it is here. To languish in uncertainty? No! To grow, and flourish.

As I walked away, I couldn’t help but think of the times in my life when I felt like I was rammed by a truck. A job loss. A failed relationship. An illness. Although, it was hard to feel anything other than stunned at the time, those experiences were (in retrospect) necessary jolts. They were no more perpetrators of some injustice than my kindly neighbor, who thoughtfully rescues lilies but is also capable of delivering a forceful blow. Recognizing this tends to soften memories. Still, I much prefer to be the lily, not the tree.

An affirmation for your next long, morning walk:

I pray for gentle lessons and forward movement. I welcome growth with ease.

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