O=O=O Chains are fragile. If one link breaks, the whole chain fails to get the job done. The "weak link" might not be so weak, but under the right stresses a link pops open and there you goooooo! Where ever, what ever, how ever ... and often its best to not be standing in the way when it happens.
There have been times in my life that I have created situations where I have linked a number of things together in such a way that, one after another, everything had to work just so. I have found that's a quick way to get disappointing results; particularly if there are quite a number of things that all have to succeed in order for the whole thing to work. (Note to self: avoid this if possible.)
≈≈≈≈≈≈≈ Ropes are a different matter. Ropes are made up of quite a number of fibers or strands, twined together, which all run side by side. The strength of a rope is that the strengths of each fiber are added to the whole. If a few fibers fail to hold the load, there are so many other fibers running side by side that there is very little additional stress on them and the rope HOLDS FIRM. Quite a number of rock climbers are happy with this result!
From Proverbs, "...and a three fold cord is not easily broken..."
This is what family and friends can be, as everyone makes a contribution to help each other. Everyone adds their strengths, energy, commitment, time. And if there is an area of weakness for one person, there are others who can come along side to lend a hand.
Grandma needs a new porch! Family, Friends, it's time to "get 'er done"! Suddenly, a party erupts one Saturday morning and the entire neighborhood shines a bit brighter by the end of the day. Its a beautiful thing to behold: Not just the new porch and happy Grammy; The neighborhood just saw a living rope form and function, and bring a new thing into the world together. There's a certain afterglow to it all ...
Chains and ropes (of the inert, physical kind) have a problem: they eventually wear out. Every stress causes a bit of break down and eventually the breaks connect up and there is less and less you can do with them. They get put in the corner: end up rusting or becoming a dusty mouse nest.
Vines are different in that way. Vines are like living ropes. Their fibers run together and strengthen each other. When stress comes, the living vine actually gets stronger as the weak places are not only repaired but also re-enforced. They get thicker, stronger, longer, more resilient. Living vines can do incredible things one might not imagine by just looking at them.
Inert ropes slowly fall apart. Living vines stretch outward and upward gaining strength even in the midst of adversities. In fact, those adversities challenge the living vine to reach its highest form and development.
We become inert, weakening rope when we fail to forgive ourselves and others. We become weaker still when we stop listening to and understanding ourselves and others. Anger, resentment, spite and jealousy can turn a living, growing vine into an unraveling rope in a hurry. I'm sure you've seen it happen either from a distance or, possibly, seen it too "up close and personal". Me, too.
But there is a medicine for this illness in the living vine: mercy, grace, love, forgiveness. Once these "active ingredients" are applied full strength and with abandon, there comes a healing and renewal of life found in no other way. They must be applied repeatedly, even hourly, both to one's own soul and to those around. There can be no qualifications (or disqualifications) for receiving these essentials, and no real living without them.
As a fiber within the strand within the ply within the living vine, I am choosing today to apply these Fons Vitae (fountains of life) of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness, first to myself and then to those fibers within my reach.
You are invited, too ... you see we've got a porch to build this coming Saturday, and we need your help! Can't do it without you. I'm looking forward to your presence, keenly so.
Allen Pollock, ( Owner of Gentle Breeze Farm, LLC located in Windham, Maine )
Gentle ponderings & ruminations on life and living