I know how you feel.
Often we get stuck with consistent problems at work or with friends, our families or marriages battle the same issues over and over again or our own unhealthy behavior seems to rule over us. Feeling stuck is a universal experience often with no quick solutions.
Recently I was thinking about feeling stuck. Processing my own “stuck-ness” I began to realize surprising signs of help and hope. I am simply inattentive to the small graces around me. Suddenly a story began to form. I’d like to share it with you today to let you know that you are not alone. If you feel stuck, keep looking for signs of help and hope in the unexpected places. That’s where the small graces rest.
Original art work by Randi Perez Helm
The jungle was hot and sticky. Lionel’s fur was matted and icky.
It was time to get out of the heat and find a shade tree or a pond for his feet.
Across the way he saw a large tree. Slowly he made his way through the jungle heat.
Coming up close he noticed a pool. No, not with water, but mud. It was cool.
He tipped toed in and it felt sweet. With a belly flop splat, he was off of his feet.
He rolled over and over, one messy cat. Making mud angels with his legs and his back.
But after a little while the mud wasn’t new. It didn’t feel cold. It felt more like glue.
Flat on his belly he couldn’t flip back. He felt like the jelly to a peanut butter snack.
I’ve rolled and rolled in this cool muddy muck. And now I’m afraid that I’m completely stuck.
He looked to the left and then to the right, but none could be seen. There was no one in sight.
He started to think he’d be there for good. He started to worry like anyone would.
Oh no, what do I do? Lionel thought and thought it through.
Tired from thinking and feeling kind of stiff Lionel noticed a monkey carrying a stick.
Hello furry friend, I see you are stuck. Grab hold of this stick and I’ll pull you unstuck.
Oh thank you, thank you. You’re a friend indeed. Lionel grabbed hold of the stick, wishing to be free.
The monkey pulled and pulled and pulled with all his might. But it was no use. Lionel was stuck tight.
Just then a large hawk swooped down from the sky.
Can I help you Lionel? He cawed. I’ll give it a try.
The hawk clutched Lionel’s tail and flapped up and down. But Lionel’s muddy fur, still stuck to the ground.
And after a while it became clear that Lionel the lion wasn’t going anywhere.
Why did I slip into this muddy old place? He frumped and he grumped with no smile on his face.
Don’t worry old Lionel I won’t fly away. I’ll stay here with you until you find a way.
The hawk was sincere and the monkey agreed. Both now would and wait until Lionel was freed.
Tick, tock, the time traveled by, he was still, stuck and Lionel wanted to cry.
Hawk and monkey soon became sleepy but this was no time for Lionel to be dreamy.
How long was he stuck? Lionel didn’t even know. Ker-plunk, ker-plunk, something fell on his nose.
Splat, splat, it started out small, but soon it was heavy, a real rainsquall.
Hawk and monkey now up in the tree called down to Lionel to see how he’d be.
Lionel oh Lionel, we’re sorry you’re wet.
But something soon happened he’d never forget.
With a slurp and a slosh he moved in the muck. With a squirm and a squish he finally got unstuck.
The rain that poured down was a good thing you see. It loosened the mud and now he was free!
With a jump and a roar Lionel hopped to his feet. His friends danced beside him all happy these three.
The rain washed the mud clear off Lionel’s fur. He felt so much better, that was for sure.
With his friends right beside him all squeaky and clean, Lionel realized one thing, then two, then three.
It’s never a good idea to roll in mud puddles. It might look like fun but you’re asking for trouble.
Real friends stay with you even when you are in a rut. They might not have answers but they stay ‘till until you’re unstuck.
And just like the sunrise the rain knows when to fall. You might need to get a little wet to be free after all.
Copyright 2015 Randi Perez Helm