As soon as I found this fabulous rainy day story, I fell in love with it and had to share it. It’s from The Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo, the former governor of New York. He recalled it at a low moment when he was just about to quit a campaign he was losing:
“…We had just moved from Hollywood, New York, from our apartment behind the store. We had our own house for the first time; it had some land around it, even trees. One, in particular, was a great blue spruce that must have been 40 feet tall.
“Less than a week after we moved in, there was a terrible storm. We came home from the store that night to find the spruce pulled almost totally from the ground and flung forward, its might nose bent in the asphalt of the street.…When we saw the spruce defeated, its cheeks on the canvas, our hearts sank. But not Poppa’s.
“…Maybe he was five feet six if his heels were not worn. Maybe he weighed 156 pounds if he had a good meal. Maybe he could see a block away if his glasses were clean. But he was stronger than Frankie and me and Marie and Mamma all together.
“…We stood in the street looking down at the tree. The rain was falling. Then he announced, ‘O.K., we gonna push ‘im up!’ ‘What are you talking about, Poppa? The roots are out of the ground.’ ‘Shut up, we gonna push ‘im up, he’s gonna grow again.’
“We didn’t know what to say to him. You couldn’t say no to him. So we followed him into the house and we got what rope there was and we tied the rope around the tip of the tree that lay in the asphalt, and he stood up by the house, with me pulling on the rope and Frankie in the street in the rain, helping to push up the big blue spruce. In no time at all, we had it standing up straight again!
“With the rain still falling, Poppa dug away at the place where the roots were, making a muddy hole wider and wider as the tree sank lower toward security. Then we shoveled mud over the roots and moved boulders to the base to keep the tree in place. Poppa drove stakes in the ground, tied rope from the trunk to the stakes, and maybe two hours later looked at the spruce, the crippled spruce made straight by the ropes, and said, ‘Don’t worry, he’s gonna grow again….’
“…If you were to drive past that house today, you would see the great straight blue spruce, maybe 65 feet tall, pointing straight up to the heavens, pretending it never had its nose in the asphalt.”
Whatever we’re facing, let’s remember this: There are people around us who care enough to pick us up out of the mud so we can stand tall again and point heavenward. Write on!
Note: This inspiring tale comes to us by way of my friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert, whose Success Hotline is a constant source of inspiration (973.743.4690).