(a relationship is stronger after conflict, lit. after rain the ground hardens)
The above is a gorgeous Japanese proverb I came across a couple years ago, it seems that every time I return to it I find more depth and meaning within the simple phrase.
After Rain, the ground hardens. Have you ever watched a rainstorm? Oh, it was one of my favorite things to do at camp. The staff kids would wander up and down the camp road, floating acorn tops down the streams that formed with the rain, but without fail, the sun would come up and our little streams would vanish.
I have learned now that turmoil and confusion is the same way in life, without them, the ground would crack and give to dust, but with too much we would become submerged in the swamp and drown. These storms of life can be such a blessing as long as we realize that the sun will again pour rays of warmth over the ground and when the rain has passed the earth will harden again. Oh, it will never be quite the same. You can’t rebuild a sandcastle identical to the original, but it can surely be lovely again.
I also love the focus on relationships in this proverb, for I have discovered such a rich truth in it. Friendships that bear up through trials and stretch across confusion will strengthen in unimaginable ways. I cannot fathom how it is that most people simply get fed up with each other and give up… Sure, there is a time to cut certain bonds, but certainly not every time a storm arises. Through trials our lives are knit together, through storms we huddle closely, and when the sun relieves us, together we will rejoice in laughter.
So don’t lose hope when the rain won’t stop pouring down, but instead rejoice, for soon you will dance on new ground. Life will be beautiful again, so long as you’re on the right track, so never forsake truth and bind yourself in love, cling tightly to hope and never lose faith.