Life out of drains | Drained out of life

by You Have My Word

Drains are rather disgusting. I don’t think I need to go into detail about the contents that lurk in said places. They’re not really social gathering points, or… well, any gathering points, except for what needs to gather in them. Moving on:

This morning, I cycled to church. It’s a gorgeous, bright, fresh, Twitter-blue-sky kind of day; there’s a light breeze blowing and it’s not quite hot enough to wish you had eggs and bacon to fry on the bonnet of your car. I didn’t have to lug a guitar with me as I do some mornings so I was free to two-wheel to the service.

On a particular stretch of road, I was stunned by an image: small white and pink flowers growing out of a drain. Beauty out of filth. It was striking, as if the stalks growing toward the sky were making a statement like raised fists in a riot saying, “We will not be shut down, we will not be silenced.”

I did a bit of research and these flowers are of a particular species called “Saxifraga.” (Note: I’m not a plant-loving, tree-hugging hippie but today I felt it necessary to get back to the roots. Pun intended.) This Latin word saxifraga literally means stone-breaker, from Latin saxum (“rock” or “stone”) and frangere (“to break”).

I can across this quote today too:

broken heartWhere am I going with this? Life is draining sometimes. If you’re alive then you’ve experienced this truth. It’s draining for different people in different ways but all of us have had the life sucked out of us in some way. We become hard and bitter and lifeless in some ways. Yet here, in the chaos of nature, we see evidence of growth and life and beauty from what seems like the most unlikely place. Literally, life out of a draining thing… a drain. Flowers have broken through stone.

Allow the draining when it happens; harder than that then, allow life to grow from that place. Do not stay hard, do not stay bitter. Look for that which is beautiful in  place you’d anticipate dirt and stench. It is there: life.