Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Do you see what I see?

As I look around me these days, I see signs of new life. The sun is rising earlier and staying up later, warming both the earth and its inhabitants. Flowers are in bloom. Trees are sprouting leaves of all colors and sizes. I've been able to get outside to take long walks, to listen to the birds, to stare into the bright Carolina skies, and to take deep breaths of pollen laden air.

Speaking of pollen, until about four hours ago, my car was covered with it. Last Wednesday night, as I stood and talked to a dear friend, she nervously tapped her fingertips on the hood of my car. A couple of days later, her fingerprints were eerily visible, highlighted by the pollen that seemed to fill every ridge. Today, I finally washed her fingerprints and that film of flower sperm from my car. And then I had a serious sneezing fit.

As I sneezed and blew my nose, I also gave thanks for the fact that all that pollen and all that sneezing are signs of transformation, of resurrection, of new life. Winter is behind us. The dried, cracked earth has softened and baby buds are breaking through. Worms are making their appearance after rainy days. Trees that were barren and brown for the past four months are now pink and white and red and green. Shadows fall over previously uncovered sidewalks and streets. Tiny yellow-green inch warms are bungee-jumping from branches down onto passing vehicles and pedestrians. My little doggie doesn't run for the garage door as soon as she's done "doing her business" anymore. Nor do I.

What else is in bloom around here? Hope. Hope for a strong finish to the school year for my two children. Hope for longer days and quieter nights. Hope for healing for a woman I know who was recently diagnosed with kanswer and will begin chemo afte Easter. Hope for a dear friend who is dealing with her step-father's death and her mother's grief. Hope for a rekindled friendship. Hope for answers to the questions my soul keeps asking. Hope for an inspiring and encouraging visit with my daughter this weekend. Hope for good health and a long life. Hope for strength and grace and the ability to forgive. Hope for new and deepening friendships. Hope for laughter, love, joy, and peace for all people everywhere.

Joy is also in bloom. Joy at the news of one baby's safe arrival and another one on the way. Joy at the news of a friend's daughter who is overcoming her anxiety. Joy at the birth of a book now available in paperback. Joy because of a married couple's reconnection after years of marital malaise. Joy at the frequency of academic breakthroughs and the growing confidence in his study skills. Joy at being discovered by distant and long-lost friends on Facebook. Joy at making new connections through this blog. Joy at setting up dinner, lunch, and coffee dates with friends. Joy at a lively communion service on Sunday night. Joy because Easter is only eleven days away.

Newborn hope.
Newfound joy.
Newness of life.

In the yard, in the trees, in the flowers,
in life, in love, in friendships,
in conversation, in connection,
in prayer, in silence, and in gratitude,
there is so much beauty.

Do you see what I see?

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