On an early spring walk with my family, when the sun was shining bright and hot but standing in the shade still sent a chill through our bones, I came across a daffodil.
It had no bud or bloom yet, but its green, softly rounded leaves had shot up from the ground and stood six or eight inches tall. Those leaves had burst forth from ground covered with debris and dried mud, dead and brown and matted to the surface. And the daffodil had taken some of that debris right along with it, a little crown of sorts, firmly encircling the tender leaves that reached towards the sky.
When we experience painful circumstances, we feel buried. But eventually, we find the strength to grow again. Maybe it’s sooner; maybe it’s later. We might have to push our way through a lot of adversity. It can be external: people who don’t want to see us succeed, circumstances that are out of our control. Or it can be internal: sadness, anger, hopelessness, or a hundred other emotions that threaten to keep us beneath the surface. But we do grow again.
And when we grow, we push through all of that junk trying to keep us down, just like the daffodil pushed through the dead leftovers of winter. Sometimes, we have to carry the junk with us for awhile. It might weigh us down, but it doesn’t stop us from growing. Taller. Brighter. Stronger. Able to support new growth, like buds and flowers.
And then, if we come alongside the right kind of people, and keep pushing forward, eventually… eventually… we are released from the burden and able to fully grow and thrive, just like when the daffodil sprung to freedom as I pulled off the dead leaves wrapped around it.