We have had some pretty wet storms lately, and those storms have left behind huge mud puddles. You can’t tell now , but this mud puddle covers the left side of our driveway. It is probably six inches deep and fills up every time there is a rain storm. When the land absorbs the water, these violets were left behind. They grew up in the wet space and survived the torrential rains. They come back bigger and stronger each season, and have spread themselves to a point where they actually cover the puddle from end to end. I have no idea how they got into the puddle, probably a bird of the wind, but I am so blessed by the reminder they provide. 

We all have terrible circumstances in our lives…death, pain, debt, sorrow, disappointment, failure, broken dreams. No matter who you are there is some way we have all been hurt. There is some way we have been overwhelmed by life and left physically and emotionally beat up. No one is immune from the hurt that living brings…no one. The way we each choose to deal with the hurts of life is what makes the difference. Some people crawl into a ball and deny it all. Some people cry, scream, sink into depression or isolate themselves until they have the strength to dig back into reality. Some pretend all is good and never deal with any kind of emotion. Some people wear it all on their sleeve and bring it up every time anyone sits too close…they tell all, all the time. Each reaction to life is as individual as a fingerprint. We may think we know people until we find out what they have overcome. 

These violets made me think about the overwhelming moments in my life and how I reacted. They made me realize that we are stronger than we might think. These flowers get flooded frequently, and come back every time. They beat the odds and bring color, joy and life to a mud puddle. Talk about rotten places to be, who would want to live let alone spread in a mud puddle? But these little gems don’t seem to mind. In fact, they have thrived. They share their bright, tender petals in a forgotten part of the drive. They bring a sense of hope and Spring to a forgotten, often avoided space…and they have been doing it year after year. 

I probably would have given up by now. I would have complained about having to overcome all the rain. I would have felt sorry for myself, felt forgotten and unwanted, and just withered up and died. Maybe that’s why I am not a violet in a mud puddle, I couldn’t take it. We think we have problems or circumstances to overcome until we take a long hard look at what other people are overcoming. That is usually when we want our own problems back. All of us have strength in reserve that we do not use until we really need it. We have the ability to survive and beat incredible odds, and do it year after year. So if you are in that place right now, think about these mud puddle violets. They overcome every year, and do it with beauty and grace. If they can do it, you can do it.