The Jasmine along the lakefront fence was an unruly mass of twisted vines when we arrived. When we left just a few short weeks ago, it was still winter. All growth had stopped and the dormant vines clung to each other for protection against the storms. But with the sunshine and spring rains had come new growth. Bright yellow blossoms had burst open and their intoxicating fragrance hung in the air. The tangled vines, energized by new growth, crowded against each other, seeking freedom.
I spent the first sunny morning carefully untangling and coaxing vines into place along the fence, smiling to myself as they seemed to literally jump for joy as they sprung free. But some defied any attempt to free them. They were so tightly wrapped around each other that they had become brittle, barren stems, virtually fused together.
Perhaps we are like that, too. When we cling too tightly to another person, an object, or ideology for protection, we lose our taste for freedom and miss the chance to bloom.