Stay with me; stay the course; stays? I wonder what the roots of the word mean . . . but I know what the fruits of the word are.
If I stay with you when you need me, I become a better person. I pour out myself, empty and refill, and I care for another. It takes my eyes off of me. I'm a hopeless mess, and quite intriguing to examine, but looking at me rarely improves the picture. If I look at you, though, if I serve you, I become more beautiful.
Does everything in the world have to work backwards from what I expect?
If I stay the course, I grow stronger. Even in defeat, I gain, so by enduring to the finish I win. When I walked my first 10K, mine were the last, the very last two feet to cross the finish line, but I felt victorious. That's the only 10K I've walked, and I want to do more. If I keep trying to get to that goal, I will grow stronger and wiser and healthier.
Stays - those funny little plastic things made to be lost, ostensibly intended to keep a collar straight. Stays - those horrible stiff pokey things that make a body look artificially smooth. Hm. Maybe staying isn't ALWAYS the best course.
But I think it's still good, the fruit of staying, most of the time.