Fall and spring are, without contest, my two favorite seasons. One lulls you into quiet contemplation and the other into a vibrant rebirth. Both offer a cornucopia of colors and smells. Today, as I wandered about my yard, I kicked about through the thick bed of fallen leaves. The ground was ablaze with golds and yellows and browns and reds. And there, standing alone in that sea of color was a tiny viola, the echo of spring.
The seasons in nature often mirror the seasons in our lives. There are ebbs and flows, and often a whisper of the past peeks up to remind us of where we’ve been. As I walked about the yard, I couldn’t help but think about the number of years spent tending those garden beds and the memories that were planted and rooted there; the plants each daughter chose to be her special plant; the flower selections for this child or that; the joy in seeing the first sprouts of a vegetable plant emerge. And, the laughter, so much laughter was planted, took root, and has grown in our yard.
Seasons change, but the echoes of those sweet memories linger.
Yesterday was my birthday. I had planned to sleep-in, but I didn’t. My body clock is very hard-wired to awake early so, even with concerted effort, a day rarely goes by that I’m not sliding my feet into slippers well before 5:30.
I didn’t begrudge the early start yesterday; I gladly welcomed it. Each day is a new day and, as a dear friend phrased it, yesterday marked another lap around the sun. For me, it is also marks the start of another year; it’s my personal “New Year’s Day.”
In keeping with that theme, I decided to spend a good part of my day thinking about what gift(s) I wanted to give myself this year. I’ll be sharing more details in a later post, but for this post I’ll share the first gift I gave myself: permission to use my opt out card. As I said at the start of NaBloPoMo, I jumped in again this year with the knowledge I could jump out anytime I wanted. Though I didn’t pack up my swim bag, I did decide to take a break from the water so I could focus on me, my family, and just being still.
And, at the end of the day, I realized I gave myself the very best gift I could, which was a great way to start my next lap around the sun.
What is the best gift you’ve ever given yourself?