“All is well, and every kind of thing will be well.” ~Julian of Norwich
The first spring after I moved into my new home a little over three years ago, my friend Diana who lives just five minutes away invited me to go with her to buy pansies. With only a rudimentary familiarity with this flower, I had no knowledge of her resilience. She looks fragile, but she is one tough cookie.
I planted this year’s selection in the urns on my deck Friday afternoon. Friday night it snowed and this is how they looked Saturday morning.
Three hours later, after basking in the warmth of the sun, they demonstrated what tough little ladies they are.
To me, these pansies provide a great metaphor for life. We may be knocked down and discouraged at times but we don’t have to be knocked out. In my memoir, A Long Awakening to Grace, I went through years of being disheartened as I tackled an onslaught of obstacles. The enduring message for my readers seems to be how I never gave up.
Fortunately, I had the warmth of the sun in my life … friends who supported me, a community that taught me the path to serenity, and my dependence upon a power greater than myself. I was often down, but I was not out. I persevered until I experienced an awakening.
Today, when something “out there” deflates my spirit, I remember the strength I gained from living a life full of seemingly overwhelming impediments. I may be down for awhile. And my down’s look every bit as messy as those limp, bedraggled pansies, but I do not have to be out. Eventually wisdom shines a light and I am strengthened to bloom once more where I’ve been planted.
I have come to view this as a process central to a life well lived. Trusting in the warmth of the sun to nourish us, the strength to rise will emerge from within. Just like my pansies … we may sometimes be knocked down, but we do not have to be knocked out.