Not they, who prize life's blessings, and delights,
Not those who walk in safe and sunny paths alway,
But those who, groping in the darkness, borrow
Pale rays from hope, to lead them through the night,
And in the long, long watches, wait for day.
For, they know not joy, who have not first known sorrow.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Appreciation"
Sunny Paths on Dreary Days
They prize not most the opulence of June,
Who from the year's beginning to its close,
Dwell where unfading verdure tireless grows,
And where sweet summer's harp is kept in tune.
We must have listened to the winter's rune,
And felt impatient longings for the rose,
Before its full radiance on our vision glows,
Or with its fragrant soul, we can commune.
If you fancy that you have an eye for beauty
Test it on a rainy day...
A cold and foggy day that wears no make-up.
Test it in the shades of gray
That consume the sun and rob the flowers of their colors, tired and aging ballerinas in faded dancing clothes,
Huddling in the drafty wings of empty opera houses.

-- Jim Metcalfe
Gaze across the rooftops and the chimneys,
Painted like Utrillo's Paris
On the canvas of the smoke and fog
Of a dying afternoon in winter.
It takes no eye for beauty to find it on a lovely day,
It thrusts itself upon you in the sunshine and the warm.
But it hides; becomes aloof, elusive
In the cold and in the rain.

-- Jim Metcalf, 'Beauty in the Rain' from "In Some Quiet Place"
For the growth of the spirit through pain,
Like a plant in the soil and the rain;
For the dropping of needless things
Which the sword of a sorrow brings;
For the meaning and purpose of life
Which dawns on us out of the strife:
Let us give thanks.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox