This created world… When I cannot write, I wander away from the house and look. I can’t help but think that God is sending messages to counteract confusion, fear, anger, and despair, if people will look. These things are here in my world to make me examine, wonder, hope and lose myself and my anxious thoughts for a moment, at least. I am so thankful. For sight and things to see, for hearing and sounds to hear, for mobility, for safety. I may not have these things always and that is okay, for I have them now. I wish I could package them up and send them to everyone who needs beauty, and peace, everyone who wishes for something to be grateful for. But this is the best I can do.
The most amazing thing is that you, and I, and all people, ALL PEOPLE, are the masterpiece of his creation, and all this beauty was put here for us. If we could only look into each other’s eyes and see something far more beautiful than anything in nature. “Made in his image” is how he put it, and capable of so much more than we are doing now. I feel the sadness in this, but I don’t think there is a problem that God doesn’t have an answer for.
Here in Wisconsin, spring isn’t just a date on the calendar. It’s much more real than that. After being in various degrees of frozen for nearly six months, big changes have to happen and they have to happen fast because winter’s a comin’. I think spring happened today.
Mom and I were sitting on her patio this afternoon when my brother called her.
“What’s the weather like there today?“
“It’s been pretty stable, in the 40’s and 50’s, ever since it stopped being in the 20’s and 30’s .” (Last week)
“Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to happen? It’s spring, right?”
“I guess it is. Shirley is sitting here with a T-shirt and no coat.”
That’s right. It was so warm today that I didn’t see anyone wearing a coat. Yesterday was a different story. I was out in the soon-to-be garden in my heaviest hoodie and a scarf when neighbors Bob and LuRae, also coated and capped, came up to gift me. He had bought too many lily bulbs and just didn’t have room to plant them anywhere. He wanted to give them to me. Last year he did the same thing with daffodil bulbs.
I said yes. I had a pot with nothing in it but dirt and lilies would be nice. He came over with a rather large box. When I inventoried what he had given me I found eight bags of 10, with large sprouted bulbs begging to be planted. I spent a couple hours putting them around the lampposts of the twelve condos in our development. That’s a lot of digging.
As much as I shovel snow in the winter, I dig at least as much dirt in the other months. The major project is the garden. It has to go in pretty quick or not everything will get ripe before summer is over. But not too quick because it might still freeze at night. I absolutely know that I could walk over to Walmart and spend far less for the same amount of food, but I tell myself that the food is better and I need the sunburn and sore back exercise. I mostly try not to think about the logic in gardening.
I’ve only been “up north” for one “garden year” so far and didn’t have time to start perennials, so last month I ordered asparagus plants from Gurney’s. I was about to order the world’s most expensive raspberry plants from them too, when a friend let me thin her patch for free! I probably won’t get any asparagus or raspberries to eat this year but it will be good for me to exercise patience. It’s all about the future…
This morning Mom and I did the most definitive spring thing. We went shopping for flowers. We actually traveled 39 miles to a fabulous greenhouse where we bought almost nothing because the prices were… pricey. We stopped at two other establishments on the way home just because flowers are SO BEAUTIFUL! I bought, and got them all planted this afternoon. I have big pots of petunias, coleus and herbs on the patio. I am stiff, sore and a bit dehydrated.
It’s spring and spring is real. Putting my feet up now, just sayin’…
Stop. I mean stop doing what you’ve always done, the way you’ve always done it. If you do, you will see different things, different behaviors – and even if you see the same old things, you will see them differently because of the change you have made. We are placed in this world of seemingly endless variety for a reason. Variety and change, they refresh us, stimulate creativity and new thought, and well, just make life fun.
Today it’s gray and rainy, not the kind of day that you think “hey, it’s time to go out for a walk and get all wet”. But I needed a walk pretty badly. I made the mistake of attempting a workout video with Dr. J (who is half my age) over the weekend. Who knew that 25 minutes of half-hearted exercise could produce such pain? I picked up an umbrella and headed out. I’m glad I did. I saw all this.
It’s right in the midst of a city and thousands go past it every day without even seeing it. It’s Schmitz Park in West Seattle and it’s one of the first places I walk when I visit my daughter. One of the entrances to this park is on the hillside above her house. The wide path passes under major streets as they descend to the waterfront. At other points it is high above the city looking out over the sound. But most of it is in the midst of an old growth forest full of clear springs, lush vegetation and towering trees. A lot of the paths are well traveled and I meet a lot of others walking their dogs or on bikes. Gradually the paths narrow and get steeper, and less maintained. Trees fall across the path and are left there, either because they are too difficult to remove or because they are intended to be a natural barrier. When Charlie the dog is with me, I have to lift him over some of the log jams, and the climb makes us both breathless. If we are persistent we come out on top of the ridge overlooking Alki Beach, almost in someone’s back yard. Then we take the easy way down, on the streets where the view is not obscured and we also have beautiful yards and gardens to look at. Take a virtual walk through this beautiful place with me…
I love to travel. I love to be home. Even though there is a lot here to be responsible for, and when I’m gone nature does it’s thing pretty much unchecked (the husband did mow the lawn) it is still a place that restores me. It begs me to take part, to pull a weed, pick up a few fallen branches, smell the mint and the rosemary, touch a mossy rock, marvel at a single strand of spider silk floating from somewhere to who knows where, hold my ears when the cicadas get all fired up. At some point there will come colder weather and it will change, but for now it is still the hot, humid, green glory of summer. Nature is more than amazing, it is God’s gift showing his thoughfulness, his love of beauty and drama, his attention to detail, his desire to nurture and uplift, his power to take down and start anew
If you need a spot of beauty in your day, come take a morning walk with me through the Oneacrewoods.