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No matter when we deem that spring has finally arrived for us, her message of resilience and fortitude is unmistakable in its definitiveness. The greening of the trees, the search for a temporary home by geese and mallard ducks, the industry of cardinals in building new nests… if one were to have been traveling when spring arrived back home, we would return to something akin to ‘magic’.

Perhaps the real ‘magic’ is in our being aware of, being attuned to the sharing of the message of fortitude by these messengers. They are like ‘radio stations’ transmitting their messages, while we may be tuned into our own (inner and outer) world (of noise). It may take great focus and attention on our part to try and decipher the ‘tricks’ and ‘sleight of hand’ of human magicians, but nature is fairly transparent by comparison.

One example of fortitude shared by nature is through the symbiotic relationships of many plants and animals. Where one is ‘weak’, it yields to the ‘strength’ of their symbiotic partner. Birds feasting on the ticks residing on the skin of cows is one example. The cows’ fortitude is increased by their willingness to partner with birds – the win-win of symbiosis.

Friday evening, thirty minutes before sunset, sipping my tea on the porch, I was reflecting on the fortitude of spring. She had shared much with me in a week where I was able to return to the forest and take two long walks. I was wondering about dinner, when I saw my neighbor from across the street walking my way with what looked like a small container of… could it be food?! Yes! Freshly made potato-filled balls deep fried in chick-pea flour. Aloo bonda. I offered him a chair and some tea in gratitude, but he said — I’m sorry, but I am fasting till sundown.

What followed was a fifteen minute conversation about fasting, building resilience in heart, body and mind, and much more. He had come to share Ramadan greetings through a sharing of good food! What I received was a deep appreciation for the sharing of his fortitude with me. As he was leaving, he said – there is much more food at my home – come on over.

Not today, I said. I will join you for a breaking of the fast on the evening when I observe a day of fasting with you… we will share some fortitude, and break fast together.


Join us for #spiritchat on Twitter – Sunday, May 20th at 9amET. Share your #fortitude stories with us. Namaste!