Diversity is one of the great wonders of life. We celebrate it in flowers, in landscape, in animals, in every facet of nature, yet think others must adhere to our own personal box. Worse yet we endever to confine ourselves within the criteria of others. God made people as diverse and wonderful as the rest of his kingdom – good comes in many forms, let us celebratthem all.
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.
Ignoring the subtle play on words (metal should read mettle – meaning his strength and resolve) I empathised with this quote, picturing the many “knights” I knew, both male and female. Those whom life had battered, who’d fought against the odds, defended the helpless, refused to give up. So many stories crossed my mind, so many with battered armour. Maybe they were no longer young and fresh, had never been beautiful, or rich, or successful. Maybe they bear the scars of battle even, but they are more than conquerors.
I’m proud to know so many of those people. The single mum who battles for her children, the parents of a disabled child, the survivors of a wreaked relationship, those heavy with grief, those smiling on the outside disguising the pain within, so, so many different stories. The battered armour to me is far more beautiful than the gleaming untried suit.
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.
Life is all a journey as you stumble through the years,
Sometimes through strife and battle and often lonely tears.
Sometimes through days of sunshine, when the soul within you glows
Sometimes in days of certainty, you know the way to go.
Sometimes in bleak confusion, unknowing steps you trace,
But all in all you’ll get there. You too will win the race.
Not one against the other, in striving to compete,
All pushing on and shoving, thrusting others from their feet.
But hand in hand beguiling, each happy golden hour,
The weak and tired enticing to draw upon your power.
Till that gate arriving, when journey meets its end,
You’ll be a man, my brother, a fortress and a friend.
A swan lifts from the water
Wings bat feverishly at the air
The body, heavy, resists
Weighing it down,
Yet it fights
Believing it is destined to fly once more.
It is not glorious and graceful, as is its descent onto the water.
Dignity laid aside
Snow white plumes sullied in spray
It battles opposing currents to gain lift.
So is life.
If you wish to soar
You must first battle, undignified, unwieldly
Caring nought for the observer.
Those bound to the land do not understand
Lacking faith for the battle they look on
Surprised when finally you glide upward
Wings aching but heart swelling
Caught at last in the updraft.