Sunday, April 7, 2013

In Full Bloom

At this time of year, many of us are awaiting the true arrival of spring. Yes, I know the calendar has proclaimed it has already arrived, but in my book spring is not really here until my pear trees bloom.
            At a yoga class last week, one of my favorite teachers was talking about how we are always striving, reaching for, wanting something to be here that’s waiting in the future. But we can’t “make” most things happen; some things come in their own good time. Nature is a perfect reminder of the fact that a seed needs time to grow.
            Same with the seeds we’ve planted in our lives. We may want to get that book contract today (ahem!), get that degree, get that job interview over with, get that raise, or find that perfect soul mate, but maybe the time just isn’t ripe yet. I remember, as a child (a rather naughty child at times) plucking the heads of the peony flowers from my mother’s garden long before they were ready to bloom. I’d snap off the top of a flower and begin peeling it apart, only to realize that now it would never blossom. Needless to say my mom swiftly (though kindly) put an end to this practice!
            My kids did the same sort of thing in my vegetable garden. I recall chasing after my toddlers, who seemed to think that tiny green tomatoes were just the ticket (while some folks like fried green tomatoes, I was awaiting some fat, juicy red ones). I’d have to keep a close eye on the garden at all times (and on the kids, of course) if I wanted my tomatoes to make it to the end of the growing season.
            My newly (if modestly) renovated kitchen is another example. For years, I’ve lamented the sorry state of my deteriorating kitchen cabinets, counter, and floor. But with three kids to put through college, a kitchen rehab was not in the cards. Nor would it have been wise, as my three rambunctious boys often climbed on the counters, spilled their milk, knocked over chairs, scratched or marked the floors with their cleats or sneakers…you get the picture. But now that they’re all grown we’ve finally managed to make some improvements. It was a long time coming…but the time was just not right before.
            So…even though April can be a challenging month (it can also be a beautiful month) and it can be difficult to wait for both real and metaphorical flowers to bloom in our lives, it’s good to remind ourselves that life isn’t about the waiting, it’s about the living. “Don’t wait for life to happen—life is happening now,” a friend once admonished me. And she was so right. 

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