Friday, November 20, 2009

Of Buckets and Sidewalks

I love reading the Facebook and blog musings of young moms. Excitement, awe, emotions all over the map as they lovingly scrutinize their little ones obliviously encountering life. Under mother's watchful eyes, ears, and hands Baby discovers life in his own way, on his own terms. No rush. Just wide open gulping of all that is available to experience. Mommy simply marvels at the uninhibited growth. Not only at what her child encounters and expresses but at her own response. Contemplating this powerful awakening between mother and baby, and baby and his world, renews.

When I set a bucket on my lawn and leave it there too long the grass turns yellow, then brown. Seems to die. It does come back if I remove the bucket. But no amount of time can coax the blades to save themselves. The bucket must be lifted.

This reminds me of pessimism. The bucket, representing the heavy hand of life, pressing down preventing essentials from reaching the lawn. The lawn gives up. It waits for outside forces to remove the obstacle so it can flourish again.

When concrete is poured over flower seeds they sprout anyway, probing for microscopic weaknesses in the concrete. Making their way to the surface they soak in the sun, the rain, whatever they need to thrive and express their own form of beauty.

This reminds me of optimism, concrete representing the harshness of life. Dense, deep concrete is not an obstacle for a seemingly fragile plant so much as a challenge which supports creativity, encourages strength and perseverance. The seed will simply not be stopped.

Growth is a process. Movement is required. Flexibility, too.

One can recoil from life, depend on outside forces for sustenance, exist in a holding pattern.

Or one can carry on, embrace the curiosities of growth and its hardship, both of which benefit in due time. To probe, explore, watch, adjust, and seize the day is to seek vitality, meaning, beauty. Holding happiness in our own hands is a choice. So is giving it to another to hold and dispense.

As in the hearts of children, like flowers that shatter concrete, meaningful existence is there for the finding. All it takes is willingness to reach, to find, to discover, to persevere under the heavy hand of life.

To grow.


Marianne Elixir said...

I really enjoy these analogies! Thanks for your easy-to-swallow insight.

Cherie said...