When life freezes over.

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As days grow colder, the trees gradually drop the gaudy garlands of leaves masking their true strength and beauty. Even so do we, as adversity’s chilling winds efface the sunshine in our lives, drop our masks, revealing our inner nakedness and humility. Others watching marvel, overwhelmed by our true beauty. As distresses fall, like freezing snow, upon our boughs we become ever more beautiful to the beholding eye. Old dead branches fall away and our inner soul is strengthened.

Dance with the wind.

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Oh how profound the lessons we find within a tree,
As gales begin to blow, and surf is raised at sea.
Were their boughs to steadfast stand, unyielding to the end,
They’d all soon break asunder. Instead, they gently bend.
For dancing in the breezes and blowing in the storm,
They may lose leaves or branches, but nothing more’s the norm.
Let’s follow their example, with roots held strong and firm,
In all life’s gales and blusters, the flexible let’s learn.
When life blows up a hurricane, let’s bend before the gale,
And dance, enjoy the toss around, as on the wind we sail.

Congratulations you graduated! (In the school of life.)

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Congratulations you graduated!

These words came upon me suddenly in a dream for no apparent reason and (still in the dream) I was arguing saying how could that be the case, I wasn’t aware of a “test” and if there was one I’d certainly not “passed”?

On waking I pondered how like life this actually is. In life’s “university” we are often unaware we are being “tested” till long after the event when we can look back with long-term eyes of wisdom and perceive that we are changed. Things impossible before are now easy to us, our patience, understanding and faith have been deepened in some way.

These tests often come in the form of long difficult periods when life seems to be stretching us to the limit, relief coming only in small indefinable stages and the victory often coming in changes in ourselves or our perception rather than in the circumstances.

Then, when we least expect it, we suddenly discover we have graduated, “school’s out” and we find to our astonishment not only did we pass but did so with honours! We still see our performance as “loserish” but we’ve suddenly become winners!

Neither have I

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Very true. I’d add those special folks with the deep hearts that it’s so good to be around generally haven’t had it easy either.

Surviving two major break ups and finally bringing up a large family alone I was often a little sad that my kids had to work so hard (helping with the little ones, housework etc.) and didn’t have all those extras that their friends did, but now they’re grown I understand. I’m thankful they have a strength and integrity, grown in those tough years, that makes them what they are today, loving, caring, compassionate with strong independent wills able to surf whatever life sends their way and come out on top.