Fantastic Friday: Survive and Thrive

Life is beautiful. It wants to thrive no matter what obstacles are thrown its way. It’s why we hear miraculous stories of survival.

Recently, I dabbled in a new martial arts/dance form known as capoeira. Though its roots are mysterious, it’s thought the musical fighting form came from Brazil during the 16th Century, during which time slaves had to disguise attempts at fighting/escape with entertainment (dance). It’s a beautiful and powerful art form, even more so because it illustrates the human will to survive and throw off oppression using any means possible.

The etymology of the word “survive” comes to us from Latin and means “Live” “beyond.” Etymologically, “thrive” is an Old Norse word that meant “To grasp or take hold of (oneself).” I love both of these roots. Both of them carry the connotation of reaching beyond ourselves and pushing ourselves to do more than we thought possible.

This winter was an especially trying one, with snow and cold snaps seeming never to end. But there’s a tenacious little plant, a grouping of daffodils, in my front garden that beautifully illustrates the beauty and strength that flows through life:

It started with a few green sprouts peeking out at the beginning of February. I wanted to shout at them that it was too early; February is the worst month for snow, and I was afraid they might be killed by the terrible cold snaps.

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Sure enough, the snow came. Again and again. At first, I couldn’t even see the green sprouts. But then in March–yes, we had our final snow in late March even this far south–they were visible with the starts of flowers.

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Spring–bringing life–wants to succeed. The very next day, the snow melted, leaving:

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They were safe and sound. And soon enough, this happened:

almost004But it was so cold that they remained yellow and unopened for over a week. I worried that the cold might have damaged the flowers. But I was reminded that life likes to survive and thrive:

almost005In the throes of demoralizing winter, it was difficult some days to imagine that spring would ever arrive. The cold was so intense, so bitter, that it was easy to believe it would last forever. It was easy to forget what it felt like to feel warm–and hot–as a result of the sun. It was easy to believe that the Arctic blasts would kill all the plants. But life is stronger than that. And so is hope.

So Happy Friday, and as you go through each day, enjoy all the ways you’re pushing beyond what you thought possible, taking hold of yourself and your life.

Survive.

Thrive.

Live.