Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Choose Spring --- Again

This is a picture taken the Spring of 2002, on the Pacific Coast Highway --- shortly before I broke my ankle in a dozen places and rushed home for surgery and a summer in a cast. It was the second day of my vacation. A good time, then a bad time, then a terrible time ---- but good times came again. I think we needed a reminder: Springtime will come again.

I wrote the below in May of 2009; the reminder is worth posting again today.

“It’s hard to admire the beauty of the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators.”

I don’t know why I remembered that old saw, but it’s kind of how I felt going into last weekend. There were lots of things to worry about – serious things – and some I feared might bite ME in the a.. . But then the weekend came.

My three nieces flew across the country just to spend a weekend with mom on her birthday. And mom was in rare form. To my surprise, and theirs, she recognized each one immediately and even some facts about their families. And there were many hours of laughter, good food (way too much), good conversation, and good wine (way too much of that, too.). And there were many tears of happiness. Happiness for the good times, not the bad. For the good health, not the bad. For the time together, not the soon-to-be-parting.

And the weather warmed and the flowers on the trees bloomed. Even the earth seemed happy.

There is so much to worry about in life. Things often seem so cold and dark, especially now. But even the coldest winter and darkest night will come to a Spring morning. We are not, as in the Tales of Narnia (by C.S. Lewis), in an eternal winter. But sometimes, by our attitude, we might choose to be.

This last weekend, I saw the beauty of Spring outside, and the beauty of Spring inside. The Spring outside inevitably happened, but we CHOSE the Spring inside. My nieces flew across the country, left their safety (risked Swine Flu!! :-) ), and left their families (Egads! -- in the care of their husbands!!), to see their grandma for perhaps a last time. And there could have been much sadness in some memories which could have been spoken, but they chose happiness. And Springtime arrived in mom’s house. And tears of happiness flowed.

Sometimes it seems that we are bound up by the sadness in our past, the worries about the present, and the fears about the future. We can’t forget or ignore those things; they sometimes come upon us unbid in the night. But like my nieces, we need to get on a plane, and fly somewhere else in our mind. Forget about that boss who fired you, the spouse who left you, the parent who didn’t love you – these were people or times which acted on you, you didn’t make them all happen. Forget about the present economy, the risks to your employment, even that stupid red light on the dash which never seems to go out. And forget about the future of your country, your company, and even your 401k. The past is the past; you’ve learned some things from it. The present I know you are doing your best about, and the big things of the future are beyond your control. But you can choose to bring Spring inside your heart, your home, and even your job, today. You can choose.

So go home and hug your kids; go play that round of golf – and don’t keep score; go to a pond and feed the ducks; go to a church and sit in silence with God. And remember the good things you are blessed with. Before you can make today better – for you, for your family, for your job, for yourself, before you can make ANY impact on tomorrow, and before you can face some bad things which started in the past, you need to change yourself -- today. You need to find some measure of happiness in your life. Now! You deserve it. I know. I chose you for a friend, and despite the fact we don’t see eye-to-eye on – well, you know what I mean :-) --- but I still think you are a pretty great person. Why don’t you think so? Or why do you so easily forget that.

May you find, my friend, the courage to choose to start a Springtime in your life. Look outside yourself; look inside yourself. I’ve seen both, and you are beautiful!

What?! You think I choose bums for friends?? No way, my friend. No way!)

Peace and Blessings to you this day!


  1. He has created an amazing world! There is so much beauty, goodness and love in it, but we can become overwhelmed by the negative side of things. I'm so happy for your nieces' recent visit and your mother's favorable response. This is an inspirational post--warm, encouraging, and full of the Holy Spirit!

    God bless you friend!

  2. The nice thing about spring inside is that I can almost always find it when I stop to look. The hard thing is, of course, to take the time. Thanks for reminding me (as I watch the snow starting AGAIN...) :-)

  3. Tom this is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you so much for choosing to repost this! The part about the red dashboard light, yes, that is my life! The boss? Going on right now, although I am still working. I choose springtime most definitely!

  4. I'm glad you are all feeling even a bit better, for today at least. Anxiety gone --- one day at a time.

    Booklady, the nieces visit that year (2009) was not their last. 2010 was wonderful, and they have booked tickets to visit their grandma in April this year, for mom's 93rd birthday --- God willing. All is springtime, and blessings are everywhere, if we take the time to look.