Monday, 19 September 2011

You just find something that works..

You're having a tough day - whatever tough means in your world.  It may be that you are again in the hospital hovering over your child, all the time wondering how exactly the world can just keep rotating while something so important is suffering infront of your eyes, how it doesn't all just cease to exist for a moment while God or whatever you believe focuses on fixing your precious little person. 
Tough in your world may be that you couldn't avoid the baby in Woolworths in the shopping cart crying and reaching out for a comforting hug from it's mother who is obviously at the end of her tether is telling it what a terribly child it is....when you have just heard for the fourth time in a year that you have miscarried.
Tough may simply be that you are tired and the washing is mounting an attack on your laundry that you haven't the strength to fight against right now but it's bothering you all the same.
Whatever your version of having a tough day we all have a little something we use to get us through it.  Maybe not at first, we stumble around for a while usually until we find something that sits you down, rubs dettol on your problem and puts a little butterfly bandaid on it making it, for just a moment, feel a little better.
It may be a mantra you repeat to yourself (think Dory on Nemo "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming" - funnily enough, I have used her mantra before!) It may be a person that you go to that gets you through.  Could be that you write in a diary or meditate or exercise... who knows. 
For me, this poem has helped many times.  So, I thought I would share it....I often feel like the Oak.. not mighty by any means.. but the wind certainly blows and it's done it's best to knock me down...
The Oak Tree
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs
and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"

The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.

Beautiful right?

I have a tattoo on my wrist, it says "Validus".  It's latin, for "Stronger".

 Because I may have and still do have times where I can see nothing but black and I am angry at the world for my past and for the future it's stolen from me... or I am engulfed by a sea of sadness and it feels as if it would almost be more beautiful to just let myself drown in it than swim....There have been many, many things that could have, and probably should have ended me.  But they haven't.  I have survived all of them, I'm stronger than even I realise and this reminds me, in my dark moments of that.

What keeps you going when you can't see the sunshine?


  1. Trine, this is such a beautiful poem...... will certainly share this link on my Wall as it gives people the precious gift of hope and perseverance....... xoxox

  2. Certainly it does Narelle, I have read and re-read this poem so many times over the years. Everytime, afterwards I feel I have been able to dig some more strength out of the somewhere it was hidden xx

  3. That's a beautiful poem Trine. It's amazing how poetry can articulate such truth.

    I also love "If" by Rudyard Kipling - I often read it (and swap the gender around) when times get tough. Now I feel like I want to paint an oak tree, with big roots going into the earth.

  4. Oh Kate if you do please let me add a picture of it to this blog post (with props to you of course!) I love "If" too xx

  5. This poem speaks my life, my path, my truth. Strength was what I found and have written about in a small note to my family and friends. It's actually the title ( I know you have read it Trine)....for me, it's what defines me now. I choose to live life to its full, and yes I have days of absolute despair...BUT...I let myself feel it, express it (usually a good cry), process it ~~ Then pick myself up, take a deep breath and move ahead. The love of and for my children and those that matter most; remind me that all is not lost, it's just a bad day (basically, give myself a break !)....Strength is not an easy thing to find some days, you certainly have it my friend xx