Gosh, April has been interesting! Snow and sun in the same month and it is not even over yet. However, you can start making your list to prepare for summer. This is Michigan. However, it seems as though the same crazy weather patterns are happening all over the United States. We can blame it on global warming but it is kind of difficult to change the weather. It is kind of like your life, you may want it to be perfect but it may not always go that way.
So we just start planning anyway. I find myself checking the Weather Channel for what may be coming our way. I check the weather application on my phone just to see when it will be a tad bit nice out. I am just one of those people who likes to work outside. It gives me something to look forward to. My bouquet is my own flower bed. My experiment is the cherry tree that my neighbor, Wendell, gave me after volunteering during Earth Day one year. My reality show consists of the greedy squirrel, the family of black birds that seem to grow every year and the ever elusive hummingbirds. I am still waiting for them to visit.
Spring In Michigan keeps you on your toes. It was beautiful on Easter and I posted the below statement on Facebook. I thought I would share it with you:
This is long... but necessary for me. We can all learn from each other. Be patient, I want to share. Send me a message if you would like. Breathe and take time. Please. Thank you:
The crocuses bloomed yesterday. Twenty minutes earlier, with an attitude, I furiously raked the grass and bagged the leftover leaves before the rain and my dinner with my son's inlaws. The curried chicken was on the stove. I am not used to being a part of family gatherings but I am loving it. It was supposed to be a day of rest beyond that.
I was drawn outside, my rake hit the grass that had not grown in yet and the leaves that were left to be slowly turned back into earth gave me grief as they broke into little pieces after being under the Midwest snow for so long. It is Easter, I can do this in segments I told myself. I did not want to be out there but for some reason, but I was led to be. I was irritated by the mere fact that my day of resurrection included labour but did it really?
After a half hour, my limbs ached. I then noticed the three tufts of crocuses that were in an overgrown section of lambs ears, a soft green leafy perennial that comes back every year. During the summer as people walk by, they run their hands over the soft leaves. Now the lambs ears lie dormant and look like dead stalks of craziness.
I was out there for a reason. The weather was inviting and gorgeous. Little girls played across the street with their father. That must have triggered something in me. It was the love. I looked again, it appeared that the delicate iridescent purple petals of the crocuses with their vivid yellow statens were staring at me like the burning sun of summer. It was as if they were saying, "Look at me. I am beauty in its purest form. I need you because the soft leaves of the lambs ears will soon cover my spent bulbs until next time. We do not have time to waste. Chop, chop!"
The crocuses do not last for long. I called to my daughter as if there was some sense urgency. I am sure that she thought I had found a toad or some other kind of anomaly in the earth. She looking slightly confused had the "really mom, what do you want" look on her face.
I explained in excitement that the crocuses have bloomed. At that moment, my irritation seemed to melt away. It only took seconds for me to explain the ultimate relevance of this BLOOM.
I lamented, "I love you. You were so loved and wanted. I had three miscarriages before your presence blessed me. I planted crocus bulbs over 16 years ago in honor of the babies I lost. I wanted to show them to you."
I pointed to the three patches of crocuses, and remembered that through my tears from many years ago, I dug through the hard October dirt to plant the bulbs. My miscarriages were back to back. I never had wanted a baby so badly. I had never been in such pain or depressed as I was after my miscarriages.
She stood over the patches looking solemn. I smiled while leaning on my rake. God has an interesting way of bringing sanity to your life.
I went on to say, "Yes, I "do the most" (she always says that when I try to tell her something that she does not know that may impact her in the future or when she gets in trouble for things that were not really her fault but she was a party to or it could have gone worse case scenario).
Without wavering I said, "I want you to know that you will always be a blessing in my life. You are one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. So yeah, I will be protective. There were many who came before you."
She looked at me, as if through new lenses, new clarity and light and said,"Awwwww, you are going to make me cry."
I responded with,"I needed to tell you. I named them Lavender Skye, Serenity and Faith. When I lost Faith, I had you. Then you came along. Amir came shortly thereafter. He was a surprise though. Sort of a bonus gift."
Of course, her response was to get out her iPhone and take a picture of the flowers.
Remember, to tell your children why you do the things that you do. Remember to tell them the stories. We have a legacy to uphold. It is our unadulterated responsibility.
Even when you lose faith find serenity in the universe's miracles, especially when the sunrises and sunsets bring you lavender skies. I silently pray for all of us, including you to find clarity in your relationships with your children and the people in your life.
This column was printed in the April 17, 2016 - April 30, 2016 edition.