Today, while I was taking a walk, a sharp pain in my knee suddenly reminded me that I was rushing. It was a beautiful, sunny day but I was in a hurry to get home and finish some work. At the exact moment that my knee started “acting up” I slowed my gait and noticed a large, gorgeous stone in a rock garden someone had arranged on a front lawn. As my gaze traveled across the sparkling amethyst, I discovered two more such rocks. Someone had taken the time and care to create a lovely tapestry of stones and flowers. And I had almost missed it! Even more disturbing was my realization that I had walked that route at least a hundred times and never noticed.
Sometimes, when I’m speeding down a certain busy highway on my way home from here or there I notice a sign that says, “Drive carefully.” It’s in a perfect location, too; it always catches my gaze just as I’m about to accelerate. Yesterday, I came across a sign that said, “Time is running out.” That one was ominous—I think it had something to do with taxes, but it’s not the way I interpreted it. Instead, it made me think of a few things I really want to do soon—and a few things I really want to stop doing soon. At least we know when the deadline for taxes is—we’re not really aware of when that “other” deadline is going to crop up!
Springtime is a time of joy and renewal, but it’s also a reminder to keep our eyes open lest we miss the lilies of the valley, the lilacs, the pear tree blossoms, or the arrival of robins (or the departure of eagles). Last spring, in fact, I missed the blossoming of a frothy pink tree in my neighborhood because I didn’t make a point of getting out and walking along that path in time. I know for sure that if I don’t stop whatever I’m doing the last week in June and walk a certain route in my town I will totally forgo the scent of the linden trees—one of the most beautiful aromas I’ve ever inhaled (next to pizza bubbling in a brick oven, of course!). Maybe it doesn’t really matter if I miss these things (you may be thinking) but I know for a fact that if I neglect to harvest the blackberries in my backyard that always ripen on July 4th weekend, there will be no pie. And it’s a very long year until those blackberries are ripe for pickin’ again.
Tonight, as I went outside to dump the glass recycling in its bin, I stumbled across a message in my own front yard. I remembered placing it there last summer, and now that the snow has melted it’s in plain sight for me to see once more. I share it with you here (above) because it’s a lovely reminder and yet another sign of spring: “Be at peace with all things.” Namaste.