Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mud Frogs: Beginning to See One Another

"In the Sonoran Desert there are ponds.  You could be standing in the middle of one and not know it, because the ponds are usually dry.  Nor would you know that inches below your feet, frogs are sleeping, their heartbeats down to once or twice per minute.  They lie dormant and waiting, these mud frogs, for without water their lives are incomplete, they are not fully themselves.  For many months they sleep like this within the earth.  And then the rain comes.  And a hundred pairs of eyes pop out of the mud, and at night a hundred voices call across the moonlit water.

"It was wonderful to see, wonderful to be in the middle of:  we mud frogs awakening all around.  We were awash in tiny attentions.  Small gestures, words, empathies thought to be extinct came to life.  For years the strangers among us had passed sullenly in the hallways; now we looked, we nodded, we smiled.  If someone got an A, others celebrated, too.  If someone sprained an ankle, others felt the pain.  We discovered the color of each other's eyes."   (excerpt from Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli)

I have mentioned that I recently read a sweet little book, one that really spoke to my soul.  I learned so much from those few pages that it may take awhile for me to process everything I learned.

One of those lessons is about awakening mud frogs.  How long have we been imprisoned by self-imposed mud, waiting for someone to come along and free us from our dreary little self-centered lives?  Or perhaps  might we recognize our own potential for lifting others from the quagmire?

Which will we be, the mud frog or the rain?  Will our smiles, our kindnesses, our affection, our love come as refreshing rain upon one who might be struggling?  There are so many opportunities to brighten one's day; are we taking them?  Simple gestures can have far-reaching effects; are we making them? 

I want to be like Stargirl.  I want to make someone's day a little better, a little brighter, and I hope it doesn't come as too much of a surprise.  Therein lies the challenge, really.  Is our society so entrenched in the muck and mud that a burst of refreshing kindness is so startling and unusual that we don't know how to respond? Is forgiveness questioned?  Is selflessness doubted? 

May we begin in the simplest way then.  Let us take note of the color of each other's eyes.


Shauna said...

Hope you are having an amazing day! Shauna from http://www.trying2staycalm.com/

Laura said...

Love this post!

This post is exactly what I get from your blog. I love your posts because they are uplifting, you tie in spiritual knowledge and they are posts that make you think.

I call myself a scriptural impaired woman. I wish I get it, but to be honest, most of it I don't. I have the hardest time getting the true meaning on the lesson I'm supposed to be learning in the chapters. I like the ah-ha moments and clarity you provide with your stories and personal experiences. I wish my brain knew that language but thankfully you translate it all so well.

Your blog brightens my spirit, mind and day.

Ardith Haws said...

Laura, that may be the kindest comment I have ever received. You know, I write my blogposts because they bring me joy; to hear that others are receiving some benefit from them is the buttercream frosting on the top. And the cherry! Thank you for being my friend.