I go for a bike ride three mornings a week. I enjoy getting out early while the day is still new, and not many people are out. The other morning I was riding along, listening to some "funk sway" on my iPod, when I spotted something in the road ahead.
Through a crack in the thick, hard asphalt, a perfect miniature marigold plant was growing with three tiny blooms on it. I live in a new neighborhood with houses still under construction. Large trucks carrying construction materials travel this road heavily. It isn't the kind of place you would expect anything that grows to survive, let alone thrive.
Somehow, though, this tiny marigold plant managed to push against inches of tar and rocks to find a bit of air and sunshine. It had managed to "grow where it was planted."
My grandmother used to say that: "We have to grow where we are planted." Like that tiny marigold plant, we have to look for the sunshine, even if it means reaching with all our might, only finding it through the cracks and during times when finding a little sunshine may seem impossible.
While examining that tiny marigold, I thought of all the women I've worked with through their divorces, and how resilient they have been. I thought of my years as a military spouse, and all the women I bonded with while our husbands were away in foreign countries. I thought of my mother and my grandmothers and how they taught me that uninvited change can mean new possibilities.
I realized that I had never known a woman who didn't have the capacity to do what that tiny marigold had done. As women, I think we all have the ability to triumph in the face of adversity. We all have taken inspiration from the crack in the sidewalk story. We've all, at one time or another, assessed our situations and made the decision to "bloom where we were planted."
How has uninvited change opened up new possibilities in your life? Share your story with me below.
Cathy Meyer is the head of About.com's Divorce Support channel. To hear more from Cathy, go to: divorcesupport.about.com