Little by little, Spring is starting to make its presence felt in my neck of the woods. The two days of snow showers didn't exactly help the situation , but those hardy little spikes of tulip and daffodil foliage hung in and rewarded me with the first buds of the year yesterday. So I walked out and stood opposite the front of my side of the house to try and get an idea of what the whole thing will look like when everything finally blooms. The hard part is trying to see the big picture because I've never seen this particular garden in full bloom before.
Of course, this got me to thinking about where I am now at the ripe young age of 65 and what the big picture looks like for me (but then you knew where this was going, right?). The spring bulbs just now showing themselves reminded me of our childhoods: growing tall, bursting with color and life. Then the perennials came through - the things we learned to count on, that sustained us and kept coming back when we needed them, like our faith, our education, our life experiences. Eventually we arrived at the place where we started to plant our annuals, those seeds and plants that come and go, that last for a while and then move on to be replaced with something new and different. Finally, the harvest came in and we picked what nourished us through the winter, discarding what didn't make it and learning to perhaps plant something different in that spot next year.
The important lesson here is that we never really see the big picture all at once. We are only privy to certain views from one season to another. The tulips and daffodils are gone by the time the hosta and lamb's ear come up, and the apple blossoms are gone before the apples begin to appear. Instead of frustrating ourselves because we can't always see the rest of our lives laid out before us like a painting, we can enjoy the season we are in at the moment and learn from it. What can I plant in front of the bulbs that will come up when the bulbs finally lay down? What can I plant that will be there when I need it, and how can I brighten up my life with something new and challenging?
For now I must be content with what I can see at this present moment. As I bend down to get a better idea of how many tulips are going to come up right outside my window, I see the beginnings of some other green leaves starting to make its way across the flower beds ... wild strawberries! Gee, I can't wait to see how beautiful that's going to look!
And so it is.