It had been raining on and off for days. The gray, overcast clouds felt more like the gloom of Winter than the joy of Spring. The ground was saturated from the downpours. The grass in my backyard was swampy and large patches of mud had grown in the well trafficked areas where I walked my dogs. But on this morning I suddenly saw a break in the clouds. The beautiful, rising sun was sliding out from behind them and playing a delightful game of peek-a-boo with the earth. I longed to feel its warmth on my face again so I slipped on my shoes and headed outside.
Just as I got there the sun slid behind another cloud. I frowned when I saw it but noticed that a few sunbeams were still shining through on the grass down the hill from me. I started to run towards them before they disappeared. That is when it happened.
Suddenly, I felt my feet go out from under me as I slipped on a muddy patch. Down I went into the brown slop. My jeans were filthy. My shirt was stained. My hands were covered with the goo. “Ugh!”, I said. I wiped my hands in the grass and shook my head. Just at the moment, however, the sun broke through again. I lay in the mud and looked up at its light. I smiled when I saw it shining on a determined little dandelion growing in the middle of the mud. Then I laughed and felt the light coming on within me too. It was certainly worth another shower and an extra load of laundry to see this sight.
Sometimes we need to slip in the mud in order to see the flowers. Sometimes we need to be flat on our backs in order to look up to Heaven. In this life God gives us both the sunshine and the rain. It is up to us, though, to bloom through the mud and to shine through the clouds. May your love always shine bright and may the flower of your life become a meadow.
Joseph J. Mazzella