Life is like a persistent summer drought, hope of invigorating rain ever present under the brilliant clear blue sky, evidence of imposing, promising clouds pushed beyond what the eye can see. It is the twelve-year-old trafficking victim violated by fifteen men a night, hope of freedom hovering but hidden behind the weight of the man pressing against her undeveloped breasts.
Life is like the rainbow sail thunderously flapping in the summer breeze, propelling the boat and its passengers across the choppy ocean surface, the ferocious unseen wind guiding the direction of their voyage. It is the faithful husband bringing home dinner to his beloved cancer-stricken wife, unexpectedly pulled over and deported by police who deem him illegal and alien.
Life is like inserting the first stroke of a knife into a carefully selected autumn pumpkin, beginning the curve of a crooked smile and enjoying the process of making the vegetable come to life, aware that the immanence of rot will usher its death in a matter of weeks. It is the vigor of the passionate soul fervently seeking to fill the empty stomachs of his neighbors on the street, constantly mourning the thousands more who die of hunger every night.
Life is like the dive into a freshly raked pile of fallen autumn leaves, splashes of red, orange, and yellow engulfing one with reminders of the transformation of what were once green. It is the 40-year-old woman clinging pictures of her deceased mother to her breast, laughing and crying at images of that warm gaze, begging God to someday bring the color green into her life once more.
Life is like resurrecting last year’s snowman in the freshly fallen winter snow, frostbitten fingers and cheeks painted red by the piercing wind worth the beauty of transforming the sky’s free gifts into a friendly face. It is the single mother laughing with her five children after earning minimum wage for twelve hours, never having foreseen a life without her husband and livable wages.
Life is like a crackling fire warming toes in a cozy log cabin, the same element that destroys forests and homes offering comfort from the frigid winter air. It is the college student saving money by purchasing a cheap shirt bought in an American superstore, leaving a child in Vietnam malnourished from making those shirts for 26 cents an hour.
Life is like the ebb and flow of the spring tide, the snow that once stalled the spread of vegetative life now melting to provide the earth with its means to grow. It is the middle-aged man whose marriage was once destroyed by his alcoholism, now reconciled to his wife and more faithfully in love after the long journey of overcoming the addiction.
Life is like the new buds of springtime flowers turning their face to the sunshine, the harsh winter never enough to destroy their faith in the presence of the sun.
This piece was originally published in “The Point:”