This afternoon I was raking leaves in the back yard. The 50-year-old oak trees don't to want to part with them all at once so the raking often feels like a never-ending task.
But I noticed a profusion of brilliant white and sun-glow yellow daisies growing again this year. As I studied their beauty I was reminded of a book I edited for author Robert A. Benjamin in 2008 titled, "I Promised You Daisies."
The story told of Robert's coming of age and meeting Karen, a love of his life. Together they had dreams and at first worked together to achieve those dreams. Eventually, though, Karen's past emotions drove a wedge between them and their marriage ended. His love for her never fully disappeared even as he recognized the need for her to resolve her problems on her own.
Daisies came to represent the happy times in their life together. That's what came to mind this afternoon, that flowers bring color, fragrance and beauty to our days but, sadly, like every other living thing, have a lifespan. Though they disappear from our lives at the end of one season, we can count on them coming back strong the next.
In a way, they are like the dreams we follow on our journeys to becoming healthier. We set our goals and have images of what we want to eventually look like and for a time we pursue those goals in a steadfast manner. Then a time often comes when our enthusiasm fades away, like the blooms in the yard, and we become stagnant and disappointed because the scale numbers increase or because our clothes become tighter. We regret not tracking our food or doing exercises or drinking water.
Then something signals us that we need to refresh ourselves and renew our efforts like when Mother Nature signals the plants and flowers and trees that their time of rejuvenation is at hand. Just because nature hibernated does mean she has stopped producing forever.
So the next time we feel stagnant and disappointed because of a lack of progress, perhaps we should think of the daisies in all their glory that may disappear for a while but always come roaring back in their full beauty. And, when we picture those flowers, let it be a reminder that while our weight loss journeys may stall occasionally, that doesn't mean our progress is ended.
It simply means we can have a rejuvenation, too, if we persist and never lose hope. As one season ends, another always follows and we should always believe that our season for blooming is waiting for us, just as I know my yard full of daisies will one day be barren but offering the promise of a return visit. Because Mother Nature never gives up. Neither should we.