After such a mild winter, we here on the coast of Lake Erie thought we were in for a warmer-than-usual spring. After all, the lake didn’t freeze! But April and May have been cool and rainy.
We’ve had some gloomy days, but when the sun does come out, we notice how deeply green the grass and the trees have become, nourished by all that rain. The azaleas are full of color, and here come the irises. The dogwood blossoms seem to be lasting longer than usual. I was on a walk with a friend Thursday morning. The sun was out and everything in the neighborhood seemed to sparkle and shimmer.
Despite some allergies, there’s nothing I like better than sleeping with the windows open, and on these spring mornings, awakening to the chorus of bird songs. Soon enough my next door neighbors will crank up the dreaded air conditioning (they seem to run it all summer), and that is the noise I will endure from my back deck for the next few months. But for now, I’ll enjoy the birds.
For now. For now, I’ll take in the beauty of the azaleas and the dogwood and what’s left of the tulips. Because spring goes quickly. It all goes quickly, doesn’t it?
We had two graduations in our family this spring. My youngest stepson graduated from college, and two weeks later, my oldest stepson graduated from law school. Those years flew by, at least they did for us.
One day, while walking through the neighborhood, I noticed a house that had planted a dozen different colors of tulip bulbs. I didn’t have a camera with me, but the yard was stunning – like a Monet painting – tulips in shades of purple and pink. After I passed the house, I thought, “I should plant more tulip bulbs.” And then I thought, “But that’s a lot of work and they don’t bloom for very long.”
My internal dialogue continued until I reached my house again. I realized how grateful I was for every neighbor who has taken a little time to create a spot of beauty for me to notice on my walks. None of it lasts forever. But it all matters. The world needs more beauty.
And the world needs those men and women who walked across the stage receiving diplomas. Each of them has been nurtured by people who took the time to teach them, coach them, stay up late and help them with homework. Some of them made it across the stage because of a parent who took a second job, a parent who put aside other dreams in order to accomplish this one for a child. It’s a lot of work, but why else are we here but to produce growth for the future?
It all goes fast, and none of it lasts forever, but it’s joyful, meaningful work anyway – whether we’re raising tulips or children…