Resilience I’ve been thinking a lot in recent days about resilience, a property much needed to get us through when life presents its challenges. On ancient Roman tongues this word’s root meant “to jump back”. Early English scientists then adopted it to describe a thing’s ability to bounce back, to resume its former shape after being compressed or stretched. When I have been compressed or stretched by life, I need resilience to carry on, changed perhaps, but steady in my core. When I feel weak, unable to go on, I consider this body that houses me, holding genetic codes from thousands of generations of survivors, some predating humankind, all resilient enough to live and pass on their genes. I look to them, and I look to trees, firmly rooted yet able to bend and sway at wind’s insistence, to withstand the cold of deepest winter and the heat of summer’s longer days. I look to mountains, worn by age-long assaults from wind and water, rock falls and slides and yet enduring as themselves. I look to a tiny, delicate-seeming flower that cracks its way up through solid concrete, asphalt, or sidewalk paving stone, and I look to the sky, ever changing, ever new— clouds come and clouds go, storms come and storms go, seasons come and seasons go, nights and days come and go, and yet sky remains sky— whatever it always was, it is. I call upon the wisdom that surrounds me, I call upon the strength of my ancestors, of all these things that survive, endure, continue, resilient to life’s changes. And so may I be, so may we all be, able to bounce back, rubber-like in strength, resilient to the core. In the midst of chaos, uncertainty, and impermanence—still I am. I am resilience itself.
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