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Monday, January 25, 2010

Nature's Lessons


Nature is a good teacher. When a spider's web is torn down either through weather or malicious intent, the spider rebuilds. When an ant hill is crushed or flooded by rain, the ants work together to rebuild it, grain by grain, lifting more than twenty times their weight in the effort. Even after devastation by forest fire, nature starts over. Nature begins again.

Why do we humans expect any less? Of course tragedies happen, homes get destroyed, marriages crumble, but we are resilient; and like nature's creatures, we can start again.

Perhaps it's complacency on our part that lulls us into thinking that nothing bad can happen to us; or perhaps it's thinking we know it all, and that we deserve much more than we get that hinders our ability to plod along without complaint when the going gets tough.

My life changed drastically many years ago. I was floundering in a sea of contradiction and emotional confusion. If there was a way to rebuild the shambles of my life, I couldn't see it. Outwardly I kept things together, but inwardly I was drowning and gasping for relief.

And then it rained. It didn't just rain, it poured. The downpour flooded our lawn and filled the window wells. Our basement had recently been renovated and repaired so we were safe from ground leaks, but the basement windows were another matter. We scrambled outside and began bailing water from each and every window. Through the glass, our newly laid carpet seemed to mock our efforts.

Drenched to the bone, heaving bucket loads of water out as fast as it came pouring in, I was energized. I gave the crises every ounce of physical strength I could muster. At last I was dealing with an enemy I could see -- the rain, and I was fighting back. Even though it turned out to be a losing battle, I was exhilerated.

The carpet was lost, at least a major portion of it. And we had a major lawn excavation ahead of us, but I felt whole. If I could fight this battle and remain standing, then I could fight the unseen battles within. Like nature, I would stand my ground and begin again.

"Inez Ibis Flies Again" can now be ordered directly from the artist at http://AnfinsenArt.etsy.com  along with "Beach Bum" and "Wild Things" cards. Prints are also available upon request.