Mindstate Motivation Blog

Swamp Symbolism

I have the privilege of living within 20 miles of a pristine Audubon sanctuary called Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Among other amazing characteristics of this beautiful place is it contains the largest stand of undisturbed, old growth Bald Cypress trees left in the United States. It’s a wondrous place that protects the habitat of innumerable flora and fauna. A few weeks ago I wrote about one of the flora wonders…the Ghost Orchid.

I could go on for hours about the various species of plants, animals and birds found in the swamp but my purpose is to focus on just one for this article. There is a particular plant that grows on the trunks of downed trees or as high up as the broad branches of the Cypress trees. These little, green plants are so delicate in construction yet pervasive in their presence. You can see them everywhere throughout the swampy forest. The plant’s common name is Resurrection Fern.

Interesting name, isn’t it? The wonder of the Resurrection Fern and the reason for its name is how it deals with the ebb and flow of moisture in its environment. In the moist, humid time of the rainy season in Southwest Florida these little plants are just as I described them in the previous paragraph. The converse is true during the dry season. The beautifully delicate, little green plants shrivel up into brown, twisted, tortured clumps. They look as if they have died a horrible death from dehydration! The typical visitor to the swamp would dismiss the brown, little dead looking clumps as a detraction from the beauty of the place.

But, then comes the rain and wonder of wonders the brown, twisted little clumps begin to transform. Over a few hours in moist conditions, they transform themselves into the beautifully delicate little green ferns that they really are. They resurrect, if you will. It’s an amazing feeling to watch these little plants reestablish the softness of their delicate, green fronds right before your eyes. It’s a process of renewal they go through time and time again as the environmental conditions change.

I see symbolism in the life cycle of the Resurrection Fern for each of us. We all have our times of physical, emotional, spiritual drought. The key for us is to adjust to these times as the Resurrection Fern does and do what it takes to survive. Survive until the inevitable time comes when our physical, emotional or spiritual selves are nourished and re energized. A time when we return to the uniquely beautiful and wondrous miracle each of us is.

However, that time never comes in our lives if we don’t have an attitude of resurrection. An attitude that says whatever makes us feel like shriveling up and wasting away will pass because we will find a way to renew our pursuit of all that we can be and do in life.


I help people and organizations Profit Through Performance. As a speaker, trainer and business consultant/coach, my areas of expertise to help drive improved performance are Success Principles; Leadership, Presentation, Sales/Communication Skills; and Strategic Planning/Problem Resolution.


Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Greenfield, Performance Alliance, L.C. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be used without prior written permission.

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