Spring Is Bustin’ Out All OverPosted: April 9, 2012
Some people think that San Diego County has no seasons but that isn’t quite true. It’s spring here and that means the days are longer, the flowers are absolutely blooming everywhere and the birds are flying North after wintering in South America. Life is good!
Whether you live in sunny San Diego County or someplace more “real” like Massachusetts or Washington State, you must have noticed a change in the weather. I realize that there is still snow on the ground in some places but the days are longer, the skies are brighter and the ground is warmer everywhere.
When I did live in Massachusetts, this was the time of the year to put away the smelly boots and get into real shoes. It was also a time when it was ok to forget your mittens and cap. Your life wouldn’t be in danger.
I loved the springtime in the Northeast and I love it here in the West. I think of spring as the time of renewal and rejuvenation. For farmers and Christians, it is also the season of resurrection.
Life is hopeful in April, no matter what T.S.Eliot said. I believe that the earth celebrates springtime with daffodils dancing in the sunshine and, while that may make me a pagan, I’m happy here in the Carnival of Spring.
In Carlsbad, we have a whole hillside planted in ranunculus and tourists come yearly, from far and wide, to walk in the flower fields. Once, in April, I visited my friend Rev. Ginny Kluth in Anacortes, WA and she took me to the Tulip Festival. We walked through acres of tulips. It remains one of my most spectacular memories.
Tulips – how I love them! I have always understood how the Dutch went crazy in 1637 – in a time called tulipmania – when some tulip bulbs were so valuable they cost ten times an average worker’s yearly income. Eventually, the tulip market crashed and almost ruined the economy of the country but the Dutch still love the lady queen of all bulbs.
On my only trip to Europe, I carried a gunnysack of tulip bulbs home and stored them in my refrigerator from September until December. Southern California is too warm for their natural seasons, so I nearly froze the bulbs and then planted them all over my front yard. The rabbits or gophers ate most of the bulbs but I enjoyed the few flowers that made it.
So, Spring is either here or on its way to your neighborhood and will be there very soon. In my Center for Spiritual Living, Rev. Mattie marked the day with a brilliant talk and there were quite a few people who enjoyed the service. Only one hat but many smiling faces.
Whether you attended Easter services or not, you can still enjoy the season. Why not celebrate the advent of spring this week by stopping and smelling the flowers?
Life is so much better when we remember to enjoy the little things. We can smell the flowers or inhale the aroma of coffee. It’s not just taste, but this season engages all the senses. Why not let the aroma of your sunrise drink enhance your morning? You can also add to your pleasure by smiling at the coffee cup before you sip.Try smiling at yourself in the mirror while you’re at it. It will work wonders.
And later, why not stop work long enough to take a walk at lunchtime? Or take a minute to call a friend you haven’t seen recently? There is always time to enjoy life if we so choose.
As I have grown wiser, I have also grown older and I can’t do some of the things I used to. I have a gardener now and he keeps things neat. No more tulips – Alas!
However, I am wiser and I do have a greater capacity to know what makes a good day. The big wins are important, of course, but it is the little wins that come one day at a time that create a well-lived life.
Your choices for each day build your life and you can choose to focus on things you enjoy. Think about the things you love or are grateful for. They make you happier than the things the world seems to believe are important. More money is great. More accomplishment is great. More understanding of world events is great. Success in your work and endeavors is great. But the greatest of all greats is Love.
What do you love? Learn to pay attention to those things and create a pleasant life for yourself. Take a minute each morning to make a list of ten things you love. Let your list include simple things like flowers or coffee or the blue sky.
You can expand your list to include your favorite forms of entertainment, your favorite people, and your favorite occupations. Each morning, set your mood for the entire day by thinking of some things you can rejoice about. Be grateful.
We have a singer who often sings a song that starts out, “Thank you for this day,” and I think that is a marvelous idea. It doesn’t matter who or what you thank – it is the act of thanking that is the important bit.
Next time you find yourself in a tough spot, stop worrying long enough to think of something you are thankful for. Or think of something you love. If it is raining, be thankful you remembered your umbrella. If you forgot the darn thing, be thankful that you don’t melt.
Perhaps you can switch your mood upward enough to actually sing the one about April showers bringing May flowers. Or you can pretend you are Gene Kelly and sing and dance down the street. You are the star of your movie so why not?
What’s on my gratitude list?
What small choices can I make today?