The garden struggles to stay alive amid the unrelenting late summer heat,
much the way I struggle to keep your love alive amidst grief's insidious heartache.
We are both weary from the struggle.
We both want relief from the exhausting work of staying perky,
from trying so hard to survive without all of our essential life needs.
The garden's brown edges and wilting leaves
seem symbolic of my spirit's spark,
discolored and dwindling.
She misses the rain,
and I miss how you overflowed my cup.
She cries out for water to feed her parched roots,
and I cry out for your love to fill the fissures created in my foundation by your absence.
Oh that the struggle for life were easier,
that there was a simple answer to remain vibrant and full of color in drought-like conditions.
I stand there, giving her the water she so desperately craves,
wishing you were here to give me the love I so desperately miss,
and it hits me, as it has so often before, and in so many other ways -
remember, I hear that little voice say, "The struggle IS the answer,"
it IS what makes us stronger,
it is what we need to adapt, to survive, to grow, to thrive,
it is what makes us yield, listen harder, and trust that there is a force larger than us at play.
The garden suffers without her water,
much as I suffer without your love to fuel me,
but we fight to survive, and in so doing,
we grow in strength and malleability.
We learn, we adjust, we change, we evolve.
Our roots dig deeper in search of nutrient,
our foundation shifts but eventually settles again,
our ground cracks, creating space for new life to filter in.
What no longer serves a fruitful purpose is cycled out,
replaced with something stronger, wiser, more resilient.
Our landscape changes.
Gradually, and nearly imperceptibly, beauty makes us over again.
Through suffering we are forced to find strength and courage we did not know we had.
Through pain we learn to recognize real joy.
Through living without we learn the value of what it is to have, and how to cherish it and make it flourish.
Through death we learn how to let go, and how to embrace rebirth.
Through struggle we learn patience, we learn relinquishment, we learn timing, we learn love.
Through love we learn that even hardship can be beautiful; that even in the most dismal, dry, and bleak of life conditions, God can and does create beauty again.
Trust the struggle.
August 6, 2018