Spring turns to summer in Texas! Really? Are you sure? Because, I won’t fib, today mostly feels the same as yesterday. Ellie rules the roost. Period. No ifs ands or buts. Jack is going at his regular breakneck pace looking for our next big adventure. And Bo rests his head in my lap trying desperately to be adorable so I’ll share my last bite of buttered toast. He loves butter almost as much as cheetos. Even Dobby is getting along splendidly. He’s a very new story for another day. Sigh. How do they find me? Nevertheless seasons change and my daily life changes with them. There’s not much to see really. If the calendar doesn’t remind me that today is the day, how would I even know. Most of us are so far removed from the natural world these days that the changing seasons don’t mean as much as they once did. The turning itself is something though. Spring is new! We’ve waited and tended and worked. New is upon us! Spring is a time of flowers, Passover, Easter, and graduations of one kind and another. We look to each of these as transformative moments. None of them lasts very long. But each asks us to reflect on what has been, to celebrate it, often to let it go. Make way for what’s next.
When someone graduates do you honor their hard work and accomplishment or do you encourage them towards their dreams as they move forward. Honestly, you probably do both. Still, the celebrations and festivities we most associate with spring are at their core about profound transformation. How fascinating to me that a single ceremony, a single calendar day can pass quietly before us and yet we are supposed to feel that somehow Now things are different. I am no longer this. Instead…I am this…new, different. It’s an odd moment I think, and it takes me a while to catch up with the meaning of it. Sometimes all we can do is move through it, letting it be what it is. We instill such grand importance on what we deem to be the big things in life. A festival has taken place. Life is new! Isn’t it?
Towards the end of winter branches are bare and the world is rather gray. Suddenly the air warms up a tad and there are a dozen shades of green everywhere you look. The flower bud closed so tight against the world one day changes its mind and opens its heart in blossom. It’s true then I suppose that all things transform and renew in a moment that we may not even see. We are not misguided in our hopes for the future, our dreams of the new. But, we look too hard for the change itself. We want to see it and know it. We want to pencil it on a calendar with a date and time. We will arrive early to get a good seat. Our camera will be at hand to capture the perfect moment. The moment of change. We’ll be there with bells on. And we won’t miss anything.
We expect too much from the big moment. In the expecting we miss the beauty of what is real. Those things that change us the most usually arrive without fanfare. They can surprise us with either joy or sorrow and are almost never captured in a photograph. They are the unseen flowers that dwell in your heart. There are plenty of things I keep track of by calendar so as not to forget them. Others are so much a part of me I couldn’t forget them if I tried. Those are my own anniversaries of the heart. Mine alone. There are more of them with each passing year. My heart is tending a garden while I am otherwise occupied.
So, it’s rather fitting that as spring turns to summer there isn’t much to see. In fact, I almost missed it. Until, I headed out the door for a nice stretch of the legs. I walk partially because my sweet but energetic four legged companions demand it. Into the woods. Over the fallen log. A joyful splash through the creek. The sky open wide before me as I hit the field. No ceremonies. No festivals. No expectations. Just an unremarkable moment. The wind whispers through the trees telling me the story of the spring and its passing away. Clouds float overhead transforming as I watch. Shifting effortlessly from one form to another easily letting go of the last one to make way for the next knowing it will be different…but wonderful nevertheless.
I reflect on what has been. It’s the small things I recall. Early morning feedings of a tiny new life. Quietly starting wordpress on one of my own anniversaries of the heart. Being humbled and surprised when someone takes time to read my thoughts. Too many walks to count. Waiting. Simple adventures. Pie! Jack j juice box, as cute as a box of juice! Then like the seasons ask of me, I let go and turn forward to what summer may be. Hopefully an abundance of morning glories. Reading and writing amidst the daily necessities. Certainly there will be sorrow too but I’ll take that as it comes, as gently as I can.
As surely as there will be mosquitoes and poison ivy and very hot days, there will also be iced tea on the porch swing, lazy evenings listening to the frogs, and my annual reading of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Tucked in among it all is a new anniversary of the heart waiting to be discovered. Perhaps I’ll know it when I see it. Probably not though. Moments like that are far more quiet than jack is when he begs to be noticed. When I’m not looking it will gently take root in the ever growing garden of my heart. And there it will be, waiting. One day it will flower before my eyes and I’ll wonder at the newness of it and how beautifully different everything is than it was just moments ago.