Against all odds

I want to be like the tulip at the St. Polycarp Catholic Church.

Last year, the church dug up the front lawn to put in a new walk and steps. In the process, they dug up a beautiful bed of flowers.

As I watched the work progress, all I could think of were the pretty perennials which had been snatched from their resting ground by the careless backhoe.

Somehow, despite their rude disturbance, the tulips have again broken through the earth and will soon burst out in brilliant blooms. They are huddled together in the front of the church . . . all but one.

One tulip is pushing through the dirt, all by itself, on the other side of the sidewalk. Somehow, when all the dirt was shoveled back into place, this bulb got lost, cement poured in place, right overhead.

Now, alone, it struggles to free itself from under the tomb which had done its best to smother its life. While the other bulbs bask in the safety of “the group,” this bulb took its own road, battled its own demons, and survived.

Come hell or high water (or an over eager gardener), that tulip will bloom.

That tulip will stretch its head as if to say “You will not beat me.”

Nothing can defeat you unless you let it.


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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

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Judy Mae Bingman
This page was last updated: May 31, 2012
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