New Beginnings as we Spring into Summer

Living in the Pacific Northwest, one has to love rain—or at least tolerate it with a degree of humor—or despise it if you really must, but love everything else this area has to offer. For me, it is all of the above, at varying times. Because despite rain and drizzle, I love Southwest Washington state. Especially in the spring when the flowers and bulbs are beginning to pop up. I saw a stellar jay the other day and I am seeing robins hopping around again, doing what robins do, and making me smile in the process. The bunnies are back as well in my yard.

Regrowth of plants and people

At the beginning of each year, I redo my goals for the new year. I spend time thinking and deciding on my focus for the upcoming twelve months. I always over-anticipate what is possible, but that doesn’t matter to me. Each year, I get closer to the mark on certain things, like my writing. Rather than two books published, I may only manage one, with all that life throws in my way. Next year, I will probably still set a goal for three, and I will enjoy the effort along the way as I work toward it.

My garden comes back to life in the spring as well with goals of its own, much the same as me setting my writing goals. I can imagine the daffodils looking around and saying to each other, “Okay now, friends, we know we can push up a couple more flowers. We see how much she loves them. Isn’t her smile worth it?” And they do. Each year, a few more, clumped a little tighter and shining a little brighter. And I smile once again.

Blooming in place

I spent a good portion of my working life in traveling positions. You would think I’d be tired of it and content to stay home now that I can. I do for the most part, but no matter how I plan each year, I always end up taking advantage of opportunities to travel when possible. The joy for me is in the exploration and learning, seeing and experiencing new things. But more and more, I am happy staying at home and enjoying where I live and why I chose to live here. Some of those reasons are family (the best reason ever), friends (another good one), my writing community, the beauty and expanse of our natural world, and the weather, rain and all.

So just like the flowers in my garden, I feel like I can bloom in place. No matter one’s age, it is never too late to change and grow and bloom. And enjoy the process—the path to success—however we each may describe that in our lives and in whatever manner we choose our wandering way to reach it. The journey is the joy. The effort is the pleasure. And the results? Well, of course, that helps too. But with the other things in place—joy and pleasure—along with determination and focus—we will all get there.

Rains nourish the earth, as well as our lives

The earth needs nourishment, the same as we do. Rain provides that, as do falling leaves that work into and amend the soil in the fall. My preference is to let the leaves work into my garden on their own, like nature intended. I do that every couple years as an extra step to amending the soil when I add new mulch or topsoil in the spring. When I let the leaves do their own thing as nature intended, my garden is even more beautiful than usual. It makes me wonder why I don’t do it every year. Habit? Because I think I have to rake my leaves to be a good neighbor? Why? When they serve a purpose on the ground and I can see that purpose right now with my exploding daffodils and hyacinths as spring, albeit arriving late this year in the Pacific Northwest, is blooming all around me.

Bringing joy to us all

Nature and the rebirth that happens in spring enlightens us all. As the sun rises just a little earlier each day, so do I. Soon, I may even become a morning person, though I am not holding my breath, since I have been a night owl most of my life. I am more productive in the mornings though, so I guess if I truly want to hit those goals I set out at the first of the year, I had best keep working on this particular goal of getting up earlier.

And right along with getting up earlier, a second goal is to exercise regularly. So, to that end, I am now putting on my raincoat, grabbing my umbrella, and stepping outside. I saw a spot of sunshine breaking through the clouds a few minutes ago and I am determined to take advantage of it.

The cherry trees are finished blooming and the dogwoods have taken their place. Bulbs continue popping up with new flowers. Spring was short this year in the Pacific Northwest, and I am now ready to enjoy summer.

May the beauty and encouragement of nature’s annual rebirth and the passing of the seasons inspire us all to whatever brings us joy in our lives.

Photos: Dari LaRoche (My garden)