TheÂ Jasmine along the lakefront fence wasÂ anÂ unrulyÂ mass of twistedÂ vines when we arrived. Â When we left just a few short weeks ago, Â it was still winter. Â All growth had stopped and the dormant vines Â clung to each other for protection against theÂ storms. Â But with theÂ sunshine and spring rains had comeÂ new growth. Â Bright yellowÂ blossomsÂ had burst open and their intoxicating fragrance hung in the air. Â The tangled vines, energizedÂ by new growth, Â crowded against each other, seeking freedom.
I spent the first sunny morning carefully untangling and coaxing Â vines into place along the fence, smiling to myself as they seemed to literally jump for joy as they sprungÂ free. Â But some defied any attempt to free them. Â They were so Â tightly wrapped around each other that they had become brittle, barren stems,Â virtually fused together.
PerhapsÂ Â we are like that, too. Â When we cling too tightly toÂ another person, Â an object, or ideologyÂ for protection, we lose ourÂ taste forÂ freedomÂ andÂ miss theÂ chanceÂ to bloom.