It’s been a long 5 months. Back in January, I was sending up my wishes for the new year in bird seed, peanut butter, and pine cones. Let’s see — I wished to embrace my failures. Check! It feels like that’s all I’ve managed to accomplish since New Year’s Day. All the other wishes — well, life got in the way. But there is still hope! Welcome to May!
May makes me happy. The days are getting longer. It’s warm enough to get outside and take a walk, go bicycling, or head to the trail for a hike. Thank God for May! It had gotten to the point where I could not set foot in the gym and bear that treadmill one more time. I NEEDED to get outdoors!
I finally had the opportunity to break open the shed and dust off my bike last weekend. I missed her so much! “You and me, Bike, we are going to have a really nice ride today! Let’s get you spiffed up!” Put a little air in those tires and we are ready to roll.
Until I was out there, cruising down the road, I had not realized just how much I missed this activity. It’s the way I keep my sanity. It restores my balance. It clears my head of all the gunk of everyday. I was so thirsty for a bike ride. And it quenched my soul!
I feel so blessed to live in a community that has such a wonderful network of recreational trails. We have the Delaware and Lehigh Rail Trail running straight through the heart of our area. It’s actually a 165 mile trail system that runs from Wilke-Barre, PA all the way past New Hope along the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. I haven’t ridden the whole trail — yet! You can read all about it here.
May ushers in the downhill run toward the end of the school year. And this is a good thing for me. Not because I’m a teacher, and I look forward to my summers off. Actually, in some respects, I am a teacher. I’m a Girl Scout leader, and we teach lots of things. At least we try to. And while I love my volunteer work more than my paying gig, I’m still ready for a break. Summer re-charges my batteries.
My plan is to get re-connected to nature this summer, and in the process, re-connect to those wishes I made on January 1. Maybe I will explore a new section of the Rail Trail. Or perhaps I will brave a kayaking trip on the river. It would also be awesome just to sit on my back porch, under my umbrella, with a drink in one hand and a good book in the other.
The explosion of new life in springtime is revitalizing. Gone are the browns, grays, whites of winter. The trees burst with blossoms and colors. Things turn GREEN again! I had to take along my camera and capture nature showing itself off today.
I’ve noticed that not all wild plants are weeds. How can you argue when you find these delightful violets popping up in your grass? When I was a kid, I always looked forward to finding violets in my yard. I would carefully pick them, place them in a tiny vase, and present them to my Mom. Being a Mom myself now, I know that is the best gift! I also picked Dandelions, clover, butter cups, and wild strawberries. Did you ever hold a butter cup up to your chin? A yellow reflection is supposed to indicate a fondness for butter!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that a weed is a plant whose virtues have never been discovered. Maybe this is true of ourselves sometimes too. When we are unsure of who we are or where we want to go in life, we doubt our virtues. But they are waiting to be discovered. When we are criticized or bullied by others, we may feel as worthless as a weed. But weeds are survivors. Pulled out, cut down, poisoned, yet somehow finding persistence, power, roots, and new growth again. Perhaps the weed sees the beauty in itself, refusing to let go of it’s wild confidence.
I’m refusing to let go of my New Year’s wishes. I still wish to grow in spirit, strengthen my will, change those failures into opportunities, and improve my forward fold. There is still time. There is always a new day and a new chance to blossom.