Central Texas was hit again this year with a blast of unusual weather. I guess maybe we should start getting used to it. Our trees took a beating but, in the grand scheme of what so many people experienced with this bout of ice storms, we can’t complain, n matter how much I WANT to whine about it. Just before the storms, while we were prepping our home for the cold, I noticed that there was a daffodil blooming. Poor little thing seemed to have forgotten that it was still winter. A few days later that poor thing was covered in ice half an inch thick and stuck to the protective fence surrounding it. The storms raged through, bashing branches to the ground, splintering the tops of our most prized trees, shattering cedars to their roots, and through it all, the little daffodil stayed perfectly yellow and green in its transparent ice cocoon.
Once the storms were past and we had cried over the damage to our trees and fences, I noticed the little brave daffodil. I expected it to be wilted and shriveled from the cold, but there it stood waving in the breeze with its brave, yellow, head held high. It had a few new bruises, but all-in-all, it was just as beautiful as it was before the ice. It got me thinking about resilience. Webster’s dictionary defines resilience as “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.” Who would have thought that something as simple as a daffodil could teach the actual meaning of the word resilience.
I have been driving around for days doing different errands and working and have noticed that people are exhibiting their own resilience. Trees are being trimmed and branches hauled away, roofs are being repaired, electricity is being restored and we are all helping one another in new ways everyday. The world used to be less strained, less compressed. It didn’t feel like you were doing battle everyday when you entered traffic to go home. It didn’t feel quite so dangerous to let your kids play unobserved until the street lights came on. The darkened streets echoed with the muted giggles of children playing Flashlight Freeze Tag while their adults gathered on driveways to share beers, sodas and camaraderie. Maybe we are catching a glimpse of the way the world was, and what it could potentially return to. Does anyone recall a time when we didn’t feel the need to care about someone’s marital status, sexual orientation, gender or any other judgey crap that has divided us as a society? Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if we could go back to a time when neighbors actually liked each other, and people were not afraid to offer a helping hand. Maybe, what the world needs is for people to be resilient like a daffodil…