Finding the Will
Posted on July 01 2020
Oh hello there, tuft of grass.
Looking at this picture, it doesn't look like anything worth noticing. It's grass. We see grass everywhere we look, at least in New England where I live. But grass like this is anything but ordinary, and should be anything but expected.
You see this grass is growing out of concrete. The environment surrounding it is not exactly hospitable to life; cars racing down and up the road all day long, it gets snowed on, beaten down by heat, ridden over by bicycles and tires. There is nothing about this spot that screams “GROW HERE,” and yet, life blooms; green and strong.
I learned to pay attention to this amazing phenomena when I read a book when I was just 16, Kitchen Table Wisdom, were the author encounters blades of grass pushing through the concrete streets of New York. She remarked, what an incredible will to live that grass had to struggle its way out of the beast of weight pushing against it, to find the warmth and light of the sun.
These last few months have been incredibly difficult in the shared history of the world. Our tiny planet that by some miracle floats in the middle of space and lives relatively unbothered has been in turmoil. From wildfires in Australia, to a global pandemic and social injustice, we find ourselves grappling with a new world and how to find our place in it. Peace of mind and spirit is harder to come by than ever before and we have been forced to retreat from our cherished social interactions with our communities and our loved ones. While the world is no stranger to pain of epic proportion, this feels all consuming.
I personally have not fared well emotionally through this pandemic. As a recovering hypochondriac, the threat of an unknown disease based enemy certainly had the potential to crush me, but somehow I’ve been relatively calm on the outside, but I think deep down in my primal brain I’ve been quietly terrified, sad and maybe even depressed. Finding the will power to do even small things has been a crushing effort. And with no end in sight, my desire to pull myself out of it was low. Very, very low.
Then today I thought of the grass in that book I read so long ago. The blades of grass that push and push against incredible pressure and weight to break concrete and meet the sun. We witness the end of a lot of effort, and a lot of will to live. What if I could be that blade of grass. We don't see the effort that goes on to get to that point. But the effort was there. Unwavering, and everyday.
So today I forced myself to just do something productive and healthy. I dragged my unmotivated self outside, and I walked 2 miles with hustle. I sweat hard. I listened to really loud music, and I worked for courage. I earned my sweat. I felt tired a few times because I’ve been slacking but I just kept going. Step after step. If that blade of grass can do it, so can I, right?
This time last year, I don’t think anyone could have imagined that in just 365 days, our world would be virtually unrecognizable. While our current state is heartbreaking, it also means that 365 days from right now, we could be looking at a world healed, who knows what can happen in 365 days. If a tuft of grass can puncture concrete, who knows what time will bring for us if we just keep trying, keep pushing, keep striving for a better, healthier life.
I don’t know what the future holds for any of us, life is unpredictable and the pendulum can swing either way. But what I do know, is that I am here right now, and no matter what the state of the world, I have the power to live a better life, and I have the power to not be suffocated or held down, even by concrete. If that grass can do it. I can do it.
I am declaring July my month of recovery. Of healing. Of believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow, even if that tomorrow is not this tomorrow. I will be patient, and I will keep pushing. I will find THE will.