March 8, 2014

When We Fall

   We call it the swamp. It's nothing much really, but when a low-lying area next to a pond collects water and grows trees with sticking-up roots, what else can you call it? 
    Little brother and I tramped through the woods today, snapping thorn bushes and ducking low to avoid getting decapitated by the brush. When we arrived at the swamp, it was frozen-but-thawing, a thick sheet of ice with liquid ravines enclosing each tree struggling through its cold embrace. 
    46 degrees and cloudy? Sure, the ice will hold... so we slid and sloshed across the ice... until - you guessed it - I broke through the ice. I believe my first thought was about how my boots might be ruined since they're insulated and all, but before I knew it, I'd splashed out of the above-knee-deep hole. For some reason, a thought that has been popping into my mind a lot recently visited me again as I haltingly dripped towards a tree for support: "why do we fall? So we can learn to get back up again." (That came from the first Batman movie, yes?) 
    I fell, but when I picked myself up again I had learned something - never trust the ice. After falling, I was smarter, wiser. And sometimes I think the only way to start making progress in the right direction is to hit rock bottom - to fall so we can learn to get back up again
    My friends, never give up hope. Even if you are scrabbling to climb but slipping lower and lower, that falling has a purpose. Because if we never knew the low spots, how would we know to strive for the heights? 

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