Every winter I find myself bemoaning the fact that I live in Minnesota. The bleak, cold days begin in October and don’t fully let up until April. I know people who love the snow and blustery winds. I don’t snowmobile, ski, or make a living doing smow removal.
Winter for me consists of seeing how infrequently I can leave the house, and how quickly I can run to and from my pre-heated car. I curse like a sailor as the freezing wind hits my cheeks.
I’m fairly certain that my blood becomes reptilian around January. Warm sweaters and cuddle duds become my best friends.
Just as my dramatic complaints of freezing hands and feet come to a peak, spring rears its gorgeous little head. Trees begin to blossom, the brown grass slowly transforms to green, and I am reminded of the blessings of a Minnesota summer.
My lay-off could not have occurred at a better time. My children were down to their last three weeks of school and, outside, renewal was in full swing.
I have literally craved the outdoors for the past six weeks. Many of my days have been spent tending to my first garden in years, weed picking, yard work and mowing.
As I puttered around my backyard yesterday, I was struck by the beauty and intricacy that was all around me. In the busyness of indoor work in summers past, it had gone unnoticed.
So yesterday I found myself mesmerized by how the raspberry bushes had slowly changed from barren sticks to green, leafy masses producing bright red fruit.
I was in awe of how the seeds we had planted only five weeks earlier had differentiated into beans, carrots, kale, tomatoes and peppers.
The colors and unique designs of my flowers seemed like a gift from the creator.
Even the electic lines took on a life of their own. I imagined the poles as giants, standing tall as they held up the powerful wires. The orderly, straight pattern stretched in both directions as far as the eye could see.
I began observing these things up close (when possible) and snapped some photos with my phone. Sad to say, this may have been the first time that I truly pondered, and appreciated, the beauty in these details.
How often do we get so caught up in day-to-day obligations, only to be blinded to the beauty in our own backyards?
I challenge each of you to take five minutes to be still and observe. Find delight in the small things. Every second that passes is time we can not get back. Give yourself permission to just be.