It was several years ago. We were in the midst of a long Winter. It was full of below freezing days and even colder nights. I was shoveling out from snow after snow. And even when it warmed up a little, the skies stayed gray and bitter, bone-chilling rains fell. People were even joking about shooting the groundhog when it predicted six more weeks of Winter. I myself was feeling tired and a bit gloomy. It wasn’t so much the snow or even the cold that was getting me down. It was the lack of light. I couldn’t remember a Winter with so many gray, overcast days.
It was another gray day and I was outside taking my dogs for their mid-day walk in the meadow behind my home. The temperatures still hadn’t risen above freezing. The dead grass crunched under my feet. The gravestones in the graveyard there still had snow on them from the night before. Just as I was about to take the dogs in, however, a flash of yellow caught my eye. I stopped and looked closer to see a single, silly dandelion poking its head through the frozen ground.
I walked over to it and bent down to reassure myself that I wasn’t hallucinating. “You’re early!”, I said with a laugh. Then I knelt down in the snow and lowered my nose to smell the hardy, little flower. I closed my eyes, breathed in deep, and felt a little Spring come to life in my heart. Then for the first time in days the clouds broke, the sun shone through, and I watched as that little dandelion drank in the light. I walked home smiling with a little more light inside of me as well. I knew that God’s Spring lived in my soul no matter what the weather was outside.
In this life we all get our share of cold, wintry, gray days. We can let them define us or we can be like that dandelion, share our beauty and invite the sun to come out. The choice is ours. Be the dandelion then. Delight your Father in Heaven by shining all the beauty, love, and light that is within you. Carry your own Spring deep in your soul even during the Winter times in this world. And make this world a more beautiful place by being the most beautiful you.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
Joseph J. Mazzella