Thursday, October 10, 2013


Resilience. What is it? I have been called brave at different points in my life. I never felt brave. I felt tired or weary or overwhelmed, but not brave. Yet, the comment would come again, from another source. "You are so brave."

A morning glory vine poked up and spread its leaves and tendrils on the edge of my walkway to the garden. It was in a bad spot - on the ground, underfoot, no place to climb, but I left it because I loved its perky purple-blue blossoms each morning which glow from within. And, I knew it would be short lived, coming up a few weeks before frost arrived.

The frost came last week. Two nights of twenty-seven and twenty-eight degrees. I moved some of the flower pots in to the garage for protection, and resigned myself to losing the sensitive plants. Sure enough, many of the plants, including the morning glory, were a shriveled, black mushy mess.

I didn't pull up the morning glory vine, mostly because I am really bad about weeding. That is one of my big-time procrastination issues. The days warmed up again, with nights back in the forties. Within two days tiny green shoots came up, and in another day the stems were a foot long. With a new bloom each morning.

 This, to me, is a picture of resilience. Courage. Bravery in adverse circumstances. The quote is perhaps a bit trite, but, it is true. "Bloom where you are planted." Even if frost threatens or the situation is less than ideal for your growth. Grow and bloom.
frost damage, new growth

I am reading my way through The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown. She writes and studies shame resilience and vulnerability. Not an easy, fun book to read. But good. It is a needed message in our culture of stress.

She describes resilience as "the ability to overcome adversity...the ability to bounce back." How do we cultivate a resilient spirit? Well, I can't explain it - yet. Working on that. I love watching the morning glory each day, looking out the window to see if it is blooming. If the sun isn't up yet, there is no blossom. It waits until the sun shines on it, then unfurls its colors. One bloom, not much, but for me, it is a smile, a gift. A reminder to be resilient, and maybe even brave.
Morning glories have another unique characteristic. They bloom in the morning, wilt by afternoon (hmmm, me too), and each bloom lasts only one day. They display their glory, one day only, in the morning sunlight. Each day, I want to build the ability to bounce back, to move forward, to cultivate a resilient spirit. Resilient-in-training.

No comments:

Post a Comment