Every two weeks, I pop into the neighborhood green grocer and buy two dozen long-stem roses for $20. It reminds me of the quotation by activist Emma Goldman who advocated for many social causes and women’s rights: “I’d rather have flowers on my table than diamonds around my neck.” This ritual of purchasing roses gives me so much joy every time that I see and smell these beautiful flowers in my home. These days, I appreciate every small action that can bring these feelings of awe and appreciation. March is famous for “coming in like a lion and receding like a lamb.” Finally, over the past week, I was ecstatic to enjoy a couple of days when I swapped my puffer coat, wool scarf and hat for lighter gear. It made me feel spring fever just like a middle school child crossing off the days on the calendar until spring vacation!
As a grown-up, I find it thrilling every year to watch Central Park foliage explode into a kaleidoscope of brilliant color as the cherry blossoms create a pink canopy over my favorite walking pathway alongside the reservoir. Each week more patches of purple, yellow, and white crocuses blossom alongside exuberant pink, red, and yellow tulips. As the days progress, I feel as if I am walking through a National Geographic time lapse video on steroids.
Before my beloved father experienced five strokes during the last nine years of his life, he was proud to be a zone gardener in Central Park. It was one of several civic activities he enjoyed doing after working for 55 years. When he died, the Central Park Conservancy sent our family a certificate notifying us that they had planted a grove of tulips in his honor in the section where my dad had volunteered for so many years. Throughout the city, there are many urban gardens where vacant lots have been transformed into incredible community sanctuaries.
Take a moment to think about what adds a spring to your step. What gives you joy? Perhaps you can find 30 minutes to get out into nature and turn off your electronics. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, I am going to do some anticipatory savoring by taking more time to smell the roses and let the transformative healing power of walking in nature elevate my thoughts and well-being.
I’m sending you strength and love.
Soaringwords is the power to heal.