Close up of white Palmer tulips.

Here’s why you should love nature and experience it regularly.

Nature, specifically spring, teaches us how to move forward.

This past year has been FULL of anticipation about moving forward.

Wikipedia has the best definition: “Anticipation is an emotion involving pleasure or anxiety in considering or awaiting an expected event.”  (I mean seriously, this could not sum up the last year for me more articulately!)

Because we’re still in vaccination land limbo – some vaccinated and some not – Craig and my solution this past weekend was to meet up with some friends at Chicago Botanic Garden for a walk.

We completely forgot you had to make reservations, so we were the cars pulled off to the side of the road trying to navigate the CBG website on our phones.

I chuckled because it seemed like a lot of effort to make an appointment for a walk through a garden that is totally spring brown with nothing blooming. (P.S. I get the reason for the appointments. I just like being snarky . . . a spiritual gift of mine.)

My only goal was to catch up with my friend Jill as we walked, but something else also happened.

I was reminded of the pace with which spring enters center stage.

As expected, there wasn’t much in bloom. But when we passed the Witch Hazel I maybe hollered with glee. Loudly. (This is what it’s like to be in a garden with the J-S’s.)

And then probably a ½ hour later we saw the brilliant blues, purples, and whites of Snowdrops, Scilia, miniature Iris, and Crocus peeking through the brown ground. Yup, I hollered again.

Is it because Witch Hazel is so magnificent that it deserves such a response? Are these miniature flowers so gorgeous that I should feel such pleasure?

No. Not really. Even though I love their beauty and uniqueness, I recognized something bigger taking shape.

In “normal times” seasonal change is a pleasurable anticipation. Winter has been cold, wet, muddy, snowy, and while that may be novel in the beginning, we’ve begun to anticipate the coming change. We look forward with pleasure to all the spring blooms and green growth. It’s just the cycle we’ve grown accustomed to.

But in Covid world, there’s an added anxiety to this anticipation. The how and when of what life will be like when the pandemic is “over” is still TBD. I’m a glass half full gal, despite my snark, so I’m very very hopeful.

But check this out. As my awareness was heightened at the garden this weekend, I’m really respecting how spring shows itself slowly and doesn’t hurry. It takes its time. It literally starts small and then grows larger. It’s as if it can’t come all at once otherwise it’d be too much to handle.

Despite the winter, spring is reliable. It’s still going to show up. Yes, the change of season will happen.

And isn’t this like how our world is unfolding now? If we embrace taking the new normal slowly, we’ll actually be able to handle it and thrive at full capacity again.

This is why you should love nature. This is why I love nature. She’s got more wisdom in her little pinky than I know what to do with.

Nature . . . she’s just essential for you and me.



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