Late in November a few years ago, I was reading a wonderful article about sweet peas, my favorite spring flowers. I learned a lot. Like why my efforts to grow these beauties always had been barely a notch above pathetic. I'd been planting at the wrong time of year.
Who knew I should be tilling the earth while humming a chorus or two of "Come Ye Thankful People Come"? Not me. But I changed my ways. The Thanksgiving after reading that article, while the turkey was in the oven, I was in the garden.
I won't insult my New England readers to even suggest that I, who live in Southern California, know two whits about the true meaning of winter. But I must admit that after I planted the seeds and the temperature dropped to the low 40s followed by the torrential rains of December and January, I kissed my sweet peas goodbye. I doubted this planting in November thing was going to work anyway. Surely that article was written for folks in the Southern Hemisphere.
And so, in anticipation of starting all over with a new batch of sweet pea seeds, I walked back to that part of my garden, knowing I would have to face the weeds sooner than later. But instead of weeds, I was greeted by ... sweet peas. An amazingly sturdy crop, they were already 2 feet high and blooming profusely.
Words cannot express the joy I felt at that moment. It was a priceless, unexpected gift. It was the promise of spring, the assurance that life goes on and some things never change.
As I cut the first
What made them stay in there and work so hard? What was worth the struggle for them to sprout, take root and hang in no matter what?
Whatever it was, I know that hanging in with unflinching determination, especially when the storms of life pound us like we've never been pounded before, is not easy. But it's the right thing to do. And when the conditions are the most difficult, the payoff is that much sweeter.
Perhaps you're facing a season of unemployment, a broken relationship or worse. Whatever it is, dig in, hang on and ride this thing through. Grab on to those things you know to be true -- things you can count on that will never change. Let the storms roll over you, not carry you away.
No matter where you are today and the challenges you face, remember this: Spring is coming. Your diligence will pay off provided you don't give up or give in.
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