The crocus is one of the first flowers to appear, announcing the spring season. It fills people with joy.
Look at it. Its structure appears so delicate, and yet it is strong enough to make its way through the frozen ground, reaching for the sunshine. I find that fascinating and inspiring. (And so I had fun taking these photos of them yesterday.)
If a delicate crocus can successfully grow through the cold hard ground, we can do anything.
As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his transformative book The Four Agreements, “Life can be very easy when love is your way of life. … Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering.”
Where is your focus for growth today? What is one thing, one thought, you can adjust to have a more beautiful life today?
I was inspired to take a walk this morning. It was meant to be.
A magical dancing leaf, 4 butterflies, and a heart leaf (plus lots of other beauty) told me that I can inspire others simply by living an inspired life.
I don’t need a specific plan. There is no pressure for perfection (a past hangup); in fact, perceived perfection is intimidating, not inspiring. It creates separation, not connection.
What lights us up is when other people are lit up. Hey, hey, I’m a light! 👏🏻😁🤩 And when I’m not lit up, I can share that too, so others will know that being human is not about being perfect or happy all the time; it is about being real and honest and vulnerable.
But when I am looking with a child’s eyes or an artist’s eyes and finding the wonder of life, that is worth sharing. That is inspiring. I AM Inspiring.
When I walk outside my house in July and August, when both temperatures and humidity are soaring, I tend to wilt a bit. Like me, most of the flowers around my house are geared more toward spring and early June. However, there are a few hearty individuals who are thriving in the summer heat. Here are some snapshots from the last few days.
It’s been raining a lot lately, to put it mildly. Some areas have been flooded, and people are trying to cope with major damage. I’ve been fortunate to have only a relatively minor water issue in my basement—which we’ll hopefully get fixed sometime soon.
But another effect of all this rain is some seriously green grass. The other day I found myself just staring at my yard, mesmerized. I don’t think I’ve ever seen grass quite this bright—certainly not in front of my house. It looks like photos of Ireland. I guess I can pretend I’m on the Emerald Isle for a while, since I haven’t made it across the pond yet.
The grass certainly is pretty when it’s this happy, but here’s what healthy grass does: It grows. Fast. Something I probably should have considered when I hired a company to start treating my lawn last year. I just wanted to get rid of the weeds. It never occurred to me that the grass would actually grow faster, requiring me to mow more often (or look at really long grass). Oops! Be careful what you wish for, right?
Personally, I think mowing every three days seems a bit excessive, but what can you do? If you don’t keep up, then the process becomes even harder. So when I was out there mowing again already today, I started to grumble a little. And then I caught a whiff of the lilacs. There you go: perspective and mood changed. After all, the rain doesn’t just help the grass grow; it feeds all the flowers too. It’s pretty difficult to complain about something that produces such beauty. Plus, pushing the mower around (especially with a heavy bag of damp clippings) is good exercise. So I proceeded to enjoy the temporary sunshine, mopping the sweat running down my face while appreciating the wonder of nature around me.
Perhaps these snapshots from the Walsh yard the last few days will help brighten your perspective too.
I don’t know about you, but I actually enjoy rainy days in springtime.
To me, spring rains feel like a gift from the Earth, a kind and generous gift. Unlike the bone-chilling rains of November, these raindrops bring the promise of sunshine and warmer temperatures soon to come. But most importantly, these rainy days bring life with them: that glorious greenness that I love about the Mid-Atlantic and flowers, wonderful flowers, including the delightful-smelling lovelies pictured below.
So instead of groaning (or even cursing) about the rain, let’s try to smile about the beauty it will bring. Happy spring rain! 🙂
Teased by a short, glorious early warmup, many people in my part of the world are wishing aloud for the “real” spring to show up. (Of course, by that they mean sunny days and much warmer temperatures—which is probably jumping to late spring, but you get the idea.)
I have to agree, having had my fill of needing the heat turned on in the house and putting a winter coat on for the short walk to the mailbox. Apparently at some point in my life I became a wuss. But that, luckily for you, is not the subject of today’s entry.
Every year, we eagerly anticipate spring. We rejoice when we see the early flowers blooming: the tiny crocuses peeking through the dead leaves in flower beds, the forsythia bursting yellow in neatly trimmed hedges or natural wild abandon, and, finally, the daffodils, too numerous to count in my neighborhood. These bright spots of color remind us that the crunchy brown of the dead grass and the cheerless gray of the sky will soon be replaced by brilliant greens and blues. Curly lime-colored leaves will soon start filling in the now-bare trees, and once again, we will be surrounded by luxurious awe-inspiring growth. Somehow it makes us all feel better; it reminds us that we too can start again. It is, truly, a wonderful time of year.
But this year I was struck by something I never really gave much thought to. Those harbingers of spring, those first flowers that appear—they tend to be quite delicate, in appearance anyway. Those tiny crocuses with their spindly almost non-existent leaves—how do they survive the cold, even the snow? How is that possible? I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but I’m more interested in what it can teach us.
It made me think of my mom. I’ll never forget hearing, years ago, a dear friend of the family say my mother was the meekest person he knew. He meant it as a compliment, following it up with a comment about the meek inheriting the Earth. And he was right. She doesn’t make a grand entrance; she is never the loudest voice in the room. But she is also the strongest person I know. Without complaining, without looking for anyone’s pity or usually anyone’s help in any way, she has cared for a husband and five children, co-run a business, and survived hardships with grace. With a smile on her face, she’s always ready to lend a hand and be of service in any way she can. And she does it all without calling attention to herself. Like the crocus, she demonstrates that real strength is modest. It is quiet and can easily go unnoticed. But if we pay attention, we see the beauty: the true beauty of standing strong while being flexible enough to remain in harmony with the life that surrounds us.