It is terribly easy to become depressed and hopeless in times of war or when tsunamis unleash death and nuclear instability on the world. Death trudges on its determined route and we sit stunned while counting our sorrows. What have we got to look to for hope in times of darkness?
Don’t ever dismiss the simple answer. Never assume that the small things don’t count or can’t weigh against the big things meaningfully. Maybe the bright coral of a tulip can’t bring back the loved ones you’ve lost. No one is going to argue that. But can you not see the joy that nature offers us, the color she splashes across our path to arrest thought, to provoke laughter? Can you not recognize a path there to light?
What about the fruit tree that has hitherto never produced more than a meek smattering of blossoms and suddenly plasters itself with creamy flowers reaching sky high for the impossible spark of life? Can you be blind to the hopeful ignorance of war and death your plum tree claims? Listen.
Listen to the life around you. See the fractional evidences of love and hope the world gives even in the grimmest hour. There will always be grief. We will always be losing ourselves in graves and the calamities that bring us down to the surface of soil. We will always be mourning for something. Therefore we must always be looking for light to mitigate the dark.
The most life affirming gift I have ever received in my life were elderberry cuttings from a dear friend who is like a sister to me. This very elderberry you see, budding as though it was a large-hearted lion of the landscape is nothing more than a sproutling declaring its love, its scrappy will to live, to thrive across continents, between friends. This cluster of buds is promise, it’s new life, it’s a message of continuity and peace.
I don’t care what your creed is, what your political views are, or what your country of origin is. There is a universal truth to recognize. It isn’t weakness to love. It isn’t weakness to want peace. It isn’t weakness to want to help your neighbor. It isn’t weakness to listen to the early spring white violets call out for pale sunshine. It isn’t weakness to stop to listen to them.
What’s important in life is elemental and not the least bit complicated. Don’t be afraid to love without sophistication. Just love. It isn’t all you need but it’s the best foundation on which to build a rich life.
And bury your hands in soil once in a while.