Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
Using what seems to weigh us down
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Jan. 5, 2014 11:16 a.m.

When the snow slipped away and the calendar turned to April, we were looking for any excuse to take a walk and clear out the winter from our minds.
So, Benjamin and I headed out into our 1930s-era neighborhood, camera in hand. He, being about 4 at the time, snapped pictures of passing cars, of stop signs and sidewalks.
I held his hand as he practically skipped across a two-lane road toward a church and an old, abandoned railroad track. There was nonstop talk of Star Wars and super heroes and of the need to look both ways.
We had had a gentle spring rain. Enough to make puddles for splashing. Enough for tree trunks to deepen from milk chocolate to coffee in color. Enough for flowers to bend beneath the weight of the life-giving drops.
I had never noticed this before, how rain can look like a burden – how it falls on the soil and just as often on the fragile petals of the daffodil. The yellow beauties dipped low, almost to the ground, and let the rain do its work.
They seemed patient and understanding of the process, but when the gentle rain falls in my life and I’m bent low, I complain about the strain. I wish for the sun to come quickly and dry away the drops.
The spring daffodils, though, seemed much wiser that day.
They were flexible. They welcomed the burden of the drops because they needed the moisture as much as they needed the sun.
And there, in the midst of their burden?
They glistened. They let the rain drops help them shine.
They used what – at first glance – looked like a hardship, to make them stronger, to help them prepare for the coming heat.
Then, and only then, they were ready for the sun.

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