By Becky Cook

A little cork fell
In the path of a whale
Who lashed it about
With his angry tail.

But in spite of his blows
It quickly arose
And floated serenely
Before his nose.

Said the cork
You may slap and sputter
And frown
But you never, never can keep me down.

For I’m made of the stuff
That is buoyant enough
To float instead of to drown.

. . . . . . .Unknown author

 

When life gets a little tough. . . .or someone “throws you a curve”. . . or you find the need to somehow “make lemons into lemonade”, it reminds me of this little poem my Dad often quoted. He possessed a regular storehouse of this, and many other verses of thespian lines, even Biblical quotes, which he called forth and administered almost as effectively as the medicines he prescribed. And it worked!

In one recent winter there were blasts of dense snow, sometimes crippling travel for several days. You may have found yourself stranded in some distant airport. You fretted and stewed about how your whole world was turned upside down, wondering how you could retrieve your lost productivity, not to mention the inconvenience it caused so many people. But, then in the forced wait you caught up on some paper work, moved forward in the novel you were enjoying and finally felt thankful that you were safe and sound and would ultimately complete the trip.

When I fell asleep at the wheel and my car crossed the road to collide with a guard rail, I had no idea I was entering a cork-and-whale situation. Though the car was totaled, I was not injured. Life went on pretty much as usual except for some court/insurance/licensing issues that loomed large for several months. In fact I still have to prove to NCDMV every couple of years my ability to drive safely. I’m thinking it would have been a big help if I had recalled the story of the cork as I worked my way through that dark tunnel. . . . .and applied its philosophy to my plight.

Although my Dad has moved to his heavenly home, his unique influence continues in all those whose lives he touched. His ability to help people through disappointments, ailments, and bumps in the road are captured in the cork poem. A framed copy of it hangs on the wall behind my computer. Sometimes I quote or write it for someone going through a troubling time and present it to them, maybe with an actual cork! Of course, I believe the REAL resilience we need at such a time is gleaned from an everyday relationship with The Lord God and reliance on His promises, even in an unusual channel of blessing like the poem about the cork!