Have you ever watched a 2-year old who was trying to accomplish a task that had never been done before? Or watched a small kitten try and try to fit inside of a container that wasn’t quite within reach? If so, you have witnessed one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts…the gift of pure old fashioned stubbornness and tenacity. Lately, I have been noticing this gift in all of nature’s creatures. The same kitten who wants to climb into a container also puts both front paws in the food dish thus preventing the bigger cats from eating first and ensuring she gets her fair share. Territorial hummingbirds flying back and forth at high velocity showing their might to other hummers. Wood bees buzzing at our heads whenever we get near the door to the garage (even though they are much smaller than us and could easily have their lives ended). Even tiny plants thriving in the harsh Illinois summer. This natural inclination doesn’t seem to have any boundaries or limitations.
Human beings seem to possess this gift in abundance. How many times have you (or someone you know) been in a situation where you really wanted to give up but you stuck it out and triumphed over all odds? Or maybe you were told that you would never be able to accomplish something and you proved the naysayer wrong by sticking it out? In my own life, I know this has happened many, many times. Sometimes, I believe I hung in there simply because I was told I couldn’t do it. Over the years, I have often attributed my stubbornness to the genes of specific ancestors– especially on the maternal side of our clan. But as I have discovered more and more about human nature, and more and more about our natural world, I have come to understand that this is more of a gift from nature. A gift that every living thing on Earth shares (even if some don’t tap into it very often). A gift that is readily available when needed.
To honor and celebrate this special gift of nature and of the human spirit, I wanted to share a favorite poem that I collected years ago. This is a poem that has been very inspirational to me at times when I needed a spiritual boost. I have shared it with others over the years and even cross-stitched it for a friend. Research indicates it was published by Edgar A. Guest and originally called ‘Keep Going.’ It may, however, have been written by John Greenleaf Whittier. Enjoy.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turned about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse that you must not quit.
Today and everyday don’t forget to honor the wonders of nature within you. Share the spirit with others and know that there is nothing you can’t do.
Thanks for reading along.