The Easter Bunny has come and gone. Daffodils, hyacinths and grape hyacinths are blooming. Bees are buzzing with great enthusiasm over our boxwood blossoms. Hopefully our weather will not immediately turn into summer as is sometimes the case. The gardens are calling; weeds are growing apace, as well as the flowers we actually planted.
We had a lovely time with family over Easter weekend. Nine of us enjoyed dinner together on Saturday. While they were here, our granddaughters climbed our hill to visit the water fall that only “falls” during the spring rains. And our current trio of kittens provided more fun than one could buy in a toy store. Everything is so very alive at this time of the year; birds are singing morning and night, insects (unfortunately for our dog’s ease of mind) are buzzing and flying about. Ticks are numerous and we should all be reminded to check ourselves at the close of every day we have been outside. It is also time to put the bird seed cans safely inside a shed before our annual pilgrimage of black bears comes, looking for food.
Now that we actually see the season opening around us, our thoughts can, perhaps, travel ahead to plans for weekend jaunts or vacations this summer. We will probably schedule at least one trip south to visit a son’s round, light-filled home in the Blue Ridge, where we get to see soaring vultures, and the goats and chickens as well as family. Then we need to get back Morrisville-way to sample the good cuisine at the Copper Kettle or that of a couple of fine restaurants in Cazenovia ---- and to reacquaint ourselves with the plethora of cats in our son’s family, as well as enjoying a visit. Their Madison County scenery, all hills and dales, isn’t too shabby either! We’ve thought of a whale watch this year; it has been too long since we’ve inhaled the salt air and experienced the wonders of whales soaring out of the ocean. We also have high hopes that some of you will be coming this way on your travels. The Finger Lakes are a marvelous place for nearly anything you might want; the water falls, wineries, B&Bs and cuisine simply can’t be topped.
The peepers have been singing now for three weeks. They begin at night, but soon their burbling, carrying chorus goes all day too. Peepers are really little tree frogs, and according to one source, they are to the amphibian world what robins are to the world of birds; a sure sign of the spring season. One once attached itself to the window screen just in front of my computer and we peered at each other for a time. By morning, he/she was gone --- off to adventure with some other tree frog companion. This is about the time of year when, as a child, I collected pollywogs from a seasonal creek on our farm. I’d keep them for a day, watching them swim around my glass jar, and then return them to their mucky little pools. It was messy, but great fun. And mud washes off! Marsh marigolds/cowslips will soon be blooming in all their golden glory along small streams. There is something about being out and about in spring air that refreshes the soul.
I love seeing the many forms creative thinking takes with people. When our granddaughters are with us, they do a lot of art work ---- and their sketches and collages are always full of interest and sparkle. And I’ve mentioned before the writing groups in which I’ve participated. I am amazed at the wonderful stories, poetry and nonfiction that come spilling out of the pens, guided by the diverse minds in the circles. The One-Room Sunday school curriculum that we use in our church offers several choices for activities that illustrate whatever the lesson is for the day, and a couple of Sundays ago, I observed kids painting flowers onto large sheets of paper, using their arms and feet as paint brushes. It was a wonderful example of using the energy of children as part of their learning process as opposed to attempting to turn them into well-behaved, quiet little robots. Life offers so many opportunities for being open to new things. “Creativity springs from our curiosity and our inner resources. All creativity comes from an inner awakening.” Alexandra Stoddard*
One of the things I enjoyed most as a child was my paper dolls. (Perhaps this influenced my dubious choice of a textiles and clothing major in college.) I had printed books of paper dolls, but even more fun than the commercial dolls were those I made myself and for which I designed the clothing. My playmates and I would either cut out or copy clothes from Sears catalogs to go on our paper dolls. And this kept us busy for hours. I also had some really old collections --- maybe left over from my sister’s play days; Carmen Miranda, Deanna Durbin and other stars from the early 1940s. I can’t help but think that perhaps our “play” with paper people was more of a learning experience than the hand-held electronic games in which today’s kids are focused. Or perhaps it is just that we are learning different things in different ways. Each child comes into life as his/her own person, but curiosity and creativity should be encouraged in all children, no matter what direction it takes. I’m always appalled at people who are afraid, and consider imagination a bad or useless quality, and who do not introduce their children to myths, fairy tales and make-believe. Limiting one’s world because of fear defeats life’s possibilities. What one find possible to imagine can be transporting, life-changing and the root of amazing inventions.
For those of us who celebrate Easter, we are reminded in this season, that our vision must be more than what we see on TV, on the internet or in the papers. Easter tells us once again that fear is something we no longer need to endure. As our faith vision expands, our perspective can alter immeasurably. Thomas Wolfe** said: “The essence of all faith for people of my belief is that man’s life can be, and will be, better.” We do not necessarily get to choose what this world brings to us, but we do get to choose how we will respond; how we will live our lives. In Julian of Norwich’s*** vision of God there is total trust in life’s outcome: “I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well, and you will see yourself that every kind of thing will be well.” This probably will not be true with humans tomorrow or next week ----- but, eventually, goodness will spread like spilled honey. At least that’s what Julian and I think. Happy Spring!!
Carol may be reached at email@example.com.
*- Alexandra Stoddard --- American writer, interior decorator and lifestyle philosopher
**- Thomas Wolfe --- American writer; 1900-1938
***- Julian of Norwich ---English theologian and Anchoress; 1342-1416