Last August, just days after I turned 40 (and experienced my first earthquake but that’s a whole other story), Hurricane Irene passed thru the area where I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia suburbs. The warnings had been coming for days prior and mentally I was prepared for the worst. Around 11:30 PM on Aug. 27th, while watching the rain beat sideways against the windows, we heard a strange noise outside. It wasn’t very loud, but it was unsettling. We peered outside to discover our large pine tree was now leaning on our house. As it turned out, that was the worst it would get for us. The next morning, after assessing the situation, the damage appeared to be minimal. The tree fell almost parallel to the house, with just the very top section leaning on the roof. I wasn’t all that upset about losing the tree. What was disappointing was that the pine tree branches had impaled one of our azaleas. This particular azalea produces small pink blooms, which are my favorite. The azalea looked to be split in half. I thought it would not survive being crushed by the tree but I left it alone to see what would happen. Well, the azalea came back and even though it needed some thoughtful pruning it still produced the most beautiful pink flowers. While pruning it today on Memorial Day 2012, it occured to me that my azalea could remind me of some life lessons that I might have already known, but are definitely worth repeating. Here is what my azalea reminded me:
1) Can you survive being crushed by something like the equivalent of a 40 ft pine tree?
2) Will things be broken?
Yes, but that is where the new growth occurs.
3) Will you look the same, feel the same afterwards?
Probably not, but the characteristics that identify who you are still remain and they are just as beautiful as they were before.
Thank you azalea for reminding me of these important things, and for being so darn pretty!