West Texas has experienced such a drought in the past couple of seasons that the color brown has become familiar to us all. But the skies have opened over our land in the last ten days, bringing much-needed moisture. I woke early one recent morning to claps of thunder and the precious sound of rain hitting the windowpanes. Farmers and ranchers in this part of the country will be grateful for the life-giving moisture. My own yard is a testimony to what happens when there is rain and when there is none.
Just two weeks ago, I purchased some herbs to plant, but by the time I was able to get them in the ground, the sage plant was looking withered. I planted it anyway, and have continued to give it daily drinks of water. After the recent rains, I went out to assess the state of my little herb garden. Lo and behold, there was a green sprig shooting up from the area where I planted the sage. It could be a weed—it’s too early to tell—but I’m trusting that it is, indeed, the sage coming back to life.
The rain blessing reminds me of a universal truth: for things to grow, they need nourishment. The word “nourish” comes from a Latin word that means “to feed.” Not surprisingly, the word “nurture” comes from the same root word.
As I anticipate the growing things in my backyard that are, right this minute, being nourished, what of my relationships? Are they being nourished? Several examples come to my mind of people I know who have flourished under a bit of extra attention.
When I was a child, my friends and I loved to play on the swing set, pumping our legs furiously to go as terrifyingly high as possible. But once we achieved the maximum speed and height, we stopped pumping and coasted, letting the swing wind down from its momentum. We called it “letting the cat die” (with apologies to all my favorite kitties). Without some effort to keep it in motion, the swing would finally glide to a stop. It is easier sometimes to let relationships coast, assuming they will keep swinging even when we stop putting forth effort.
So today, just as the life-giving rain is nourishing our land, I want to be mindful of some relationships in my life that could use a drink of water, too. If you and I make the effort to pour out some nurturing on people we know, the results will almost certainly be fruitful. We all thrive with attention and care. Why not shower somebody today with a little nurturing? You might bring some wilted, starving relationships back to life.