Come in from the storm, Traveler. The sand is lashing with a fury, and you look as if you could use a moment to gather yourself before we reach the All-Star Oasis.
Sit. Rest yourself. Take stock of yourself and tomorrow we will continue the journey together.
In years past this pilgrimage didn't seem so difficult because the weight of expectations were lighter. Victory was always a goal, but never taken for granted. With the addition of our newest warriors has come a greater weight and expectation to succeed. Each misstep is scrutinized in detail, and each success is bloated. It would seem that expectations for the young ones have gone from realistic to impossible with no middle ground for growth and development.
Does a tree rise to fight the wind from a single seed overnight? No. Time and testing is needed for it to reach the full blossom intended. The roots must be planted deeply for it to hold fast against the onslaught it must face each day. Those roots take time to set, and are unseen. Unseen, but crucial. It is the strong roots that allow the tree to stand against the raging tempest and provide shelter to us in times of need.
The flexibility of a sapling is a necessity when young. Though it can be the cause of unpredictability and inconsistency as it is tossed by the winds, it allows the young tree to survive the battle with the wind and gain in wisdom. As time passes the core gains in strength, the roots sink deep, and the tree learns to stand against the wind without fear.
Was it only last season that we were thrilled with our progress and promise of the future? Has so much changed? No. We have seen glimpses of true greatness from many of our warriors. Glimpses, but little consistency. With the steadying hand of our captain much of the turmoil has still resulted in victory, but time is still needed to develop the other members of our clan. With that development, however; a profound greatness could be in the making.
Easy my friend. That was simply a gust of trade talk. There is little we can do to battle them. They arise unseen and unbidden to distract us from our journey. They are a nuisance and mean little to our true core. Once we pass the Trade Deadline Mountains the force of their bluster is spent.
Time is all we need. It's the simplest thing to say, yet is so difficult to practice. Time.
I pray for patience. I will pray for you as well my friend.
Stay and rest, for tomorrow our journey continues to the All-Star Oasis. After that we shall fight the wind together on our journey to the Oasis of Playoffs. Long has it been since I've tasted its waters.