After what seemed like weeks and weeks of rain just about every day, we've finally experienced 72 consecutive hours of sunshine! I wish you could see the effect this is having on folks. Not only are the streets filled with walkers, joggers, weekend bikers and mothers pushing happy babies, but people are smiling like it's Christmas morning and they're 5 years old! It's like we've all been on this long, arduous trip through a dark tunnel and we've finally come out the other side into the light. After weeks and weeks of muddy shoes and damp spirits, we're all on solid ground again.
This morning I was reading an article about how we often have to go through dark or difficult times to get to the treasure that awaits us on the other side. The writer quoted Buddhist master and author Thick Nhat Hanh who said:
"No mud, no lotus."
Let's face it, sometimes life in general can be pretty muddy, and often it feels like we're so mired in mud that it takes all of our strength just to get one foot out of the muck and put it in front of the other. However, if you think about it, how would we know what felt good if we didn't know what felt bad? How would we know that sunshine felt better than clouds if we didn't experience clouds? Okay, weeks of constant rain may be a bit on the extreme side ... we got the whole sunshine/cloud thing after about week two ... but it's all too easy to forget what's on the other side of the coin when things are all peaches and cream. We don't need to live in the land of hurts, as meditation teacher Davidji teaches, but we do occasionally have to pay it a visit just to be reminded of the difference.
Today on my way home from a meeting, I noticed with great pleasure how bright and abundant everyone's gardens were. All those weeks of rain had nourished them to the point where it was almost an embarrassment of riches. I passed a row of yellow day lilies that were so vivid it almost hurt your eyes. I guess all that mud underneath was good for the lilies as well as for the lotus. Sometimes you just have to push through it to get to the sunshine.
And so it is.