Our soaring temperatures and lack of rain is leaving us all breathless in the midwest. Today as we limped through the garden I noticed the leaves on our baby Rosebud tree were wrinkled; tips facing the earth. Dave, dripping with sweat, said that they were in need of a cooling rain, hopefully lasting two full days. We can hope, but the outlook over the next five days says no to that wish. We continue our walk looking at the state of all the perennials. It’s morning and I don’t even hear our cardinals singing, not a bird at any of their feeders. Even the hearty blackbirds and our chunky squirrels are in hiding, fearing the soaring sun.
On our walk, I notice a plant here and there that is thriving despite their apparent lack of water and lack of shade. They even look cheerful to me. Their stalks are facing upward and they are full of life and vigor.
They have resilience, I thought.
Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity.
I think about my daughter, Kelly, arriving with her brother at age 8 to a group home in our area. How was she able to survive this group home to foster home system? Her brother didn’t.
I’m curious about resiliency …I know it has been studied. So I googled and found some reasons that my sweet Kelly has survived.
To summarize some of my favorite quotes in the article:
When adversity is relieved and basic human needs are restored, then resilience has a chance to emerge. (Maston, 1994)
Kids can walk around trouble, if there is some place to walk to, and someone to walk with” (McLaughlin et al, 1994)
Just like our growing plants in the yard need Bumper Crop, insecticide, water and sun to grow; our children at home and at our schools basic needs are important. Food, shelter, clothing, and above all…love. Love means walking through a storm or drought with a child. Sometimes it even means absorbing some of that loss yourself. It could mean finding a friend for a child, making a phone call when abuse is suspected, writing a cheery note and sneaking it into their school desk when they are at lunch. It may mean considering sponsoring a child in a third world country , working at a food pantry or inviting one of your young neighbors over to make chocolate chip cookies and lemonade on a hot summer day.
Notice those children that are withering in the hot sun.
Take a risk…be that place to walk to.