Fields, roadsides & ranch lands are in full bloom.
Texas wildflowers have arrived!Bluebonnets and Brown Eyed Susan Indian Paintbrush and Indian Blanket Evening Primrose – from white to lavender to pink
Bitterweed and cactus blooms The scenes look like a Monet painting.
Wildflowers always surprise me when they shoot forth randomly among grass, rock and hard dirt. They are a bit like your life being interrupted with troubles. Neither worries nor wildflowers seem to care when or where they appear. They are just there!
Does a problem, concern, or fear seem to appear out of nowhere? It’s like that with wildflowers, too. A week ago there were no blossoms. It even seemed maybe they wouldn’t come this year–like something or someone had intervened and there would be no wildflowers. But they’re here!
Do you think you could learn to see a purpose and beauty in the thing that appears uninvited in your life? Like some folks, I tend to want to spend some time with my worries. I want to bemoan them, even show them off to others.
There’s another similarity between your worries and wildflowers. They are right in front of you. If you think you can just hurry down the highway and ignore them…think again! The same is true with your worries. You can’t ignore them or outrun them. There’s a formula for dealing with both–your worries and wildflowers. You must:
Stop and face them.
Spend time with them.
We know Bluebonnets don’t have to face the fear of spring storms, the pain of hail, the pounding rain or the long-suffering drought alone–because they are joined by their friends: Indian Blankets, Paint Brush, Evening Primrose, Bitterweed and Brown-eyed Susan. Like the Texas Bluebonnet, we are not alone.
Just as hard as it was for the wildflower to work its way up through rock and limestone, your worries will push through to your thoughts. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if your next worries looked a little more like the wildflower that comes but then goes.
There are rules about each–worries and wildflowers. They are there to remind you that pleasant or unpleasant surprises often catch us unaware. Here’s another rule about wildflowers and worries.
Don’t pick them.
They are not yours.
Leave them there.
…And when you turn away from the wildflowers…or the worries…
when you need to get back to your journey…
you’ll leave less burdened…more joyous…
and ready for your next experience.
Well, finally! Spring is here!
Some may not be sure of that fact if they’re looking out their window today. But I’m sure it’s spring…the calendar says so.
I wonder…as ancients were following moon cycles and earth’s rotations and printing calendars–if they thought there should be some dramatic drum roll to herald in each season of the year. I think of all of the seasons, spring should come with a shout if only to replace that dormant winter that is slowly—some say too slowly this year—leaving the dead and dying leaves and debris in your back yard. Have you heard those small cries from your shed? It’s your rake, broom and hoe just yearning to come out and play.
We think of winter as the time when the earth recedes under and into itself to commensurate and ponder the questions of its existence. We tend to use that time in the same manner so it’s time for us to wake up our body and mind. Winter may even say that it rests so well while blanketed and snuggled beneath winter’s cover that it can stay as long as it wants. Who can make winter leave that hibernating slumber?
SPRING CAN! That’s who!
Spring can break forth, finding its way up through frozen tundra and dead grasses and piled leaves. Spring has the added expressions of the flowers’ smiles, the birds’ songs and the caressing breezes necessary to push away a sleeping winter. It seems as if it doesn’t take much trouble on our part to welcome spring and play our way through it .
You remember how hard you prepared for winter? You checked your house for possible pipe leaks/bursts and insulation/heating problems. You “weatherized” your car. You prepared early for the livestock, animals, and even your own little kitties and doggies. You got the snow blower repaired, purchased a new shovel and started thinking what you would do on those extra days that may come your way as “snow days” if you couldn’t get out of the driveway.
Such hard work…and yet like a whisper and a refreshing clear, deep breath, spring is here and you didn’t have to do anything. Well, there was the clearing out of the wardrobe–the coats, hats, gloves & snowshoes. And there was the 3 days you spent tilling up the yard so you could plant those lovely blooming plants.
But for the most part, you get to just sit back and watch spring arrive and watch your soul and body regenerate and rekindle.
Now a time of serenity has come to replace our weary thoughts and plans. Come on over and let’s join in and welcome spring with as much excitement as it deserves and bid our final farewell to this long, hard record-breaking winter.
[Enjoy the video below as you think about spring. “Song of Spring” by Mendelssohn]
Oh, I surely hope you aren’t suffering from the allergens arriving daily. I truly wish the spring storms bypass you this year. But most of all I beg you to make the most of this arrival of renewal.
Before long, we’ll be making ugly faces at that thermometer.
How long do you think it will take for you to utter the words?
Boy, I wish it would cool off soon.
Later in this column, I’ll give you the scientific definition of WIND. But for the moment, think about wind only as a source of energy—something we can’t see but can feel. I consider it the most mysterious of weather conditions. Where is it? If it can be so powerful, why can’t we see it?
This winter of 2013/2014 has proved to be one of the most extreme weather patterns in recent years (in some cases decades).
Mostly we consider wind to be the “source” that:
- messes up our hair
- takes the dirt/dust in the air and collects it on our cars,
- sends the pollen into our red, watery, itchy eyes.
It is also that thing which causes your little speeding golf ball to take an unruly path away from the hole on the green.
And you may remember the frustration of trying to fly a kite which is difficult with too little or too much wind.
For all the things we can blame on wind, I want to consider it’s positive force—how it makes you feel. Whether you think of wind as in the concept of power or gusts or you think of it as a whisper fluttering the leaves, it undeniably has power like no other part of nature.
To me it is the way I feel in the wind. I know, scientifically, there is energy and power in the wind. But to feel the wind as it touches my face and body, to let it drift over my mind and thoughts, just to see it moving the other elements of nature is so representative of a force greater than you and I.
It seems to have the ability to make my mind clear – like clearing out the cobwebs. It actually affects my body & health. It takes only a few minutes outside in quiet solitude before I feel as if I’d done spring cleaning in my thoughts completely removing the problems and worries and enjoying the deep breaths I draw.
Regeneration is a word that reminds me of what “wind” does for me.
Let’s think about when wind mixes with a particular element–that brings on a whole new meaning.
- If it is snow blowing and swirling, then we have a blizzard;
- if it is sand or dirt blowing, then we have a dust storm;
- if it is rain that is moving with the wind, it may result in tornadic or hurricane force winds.
- The coolness of an autumn breeze;
- the snow moved softly by the wind;
- the pollen pushed forth by the blowing;
- the rain shower that blows upon us for only minutes.
Like most of us in the US, I’m awaiting those days that will soon burst forth giving us more pollen, more rain, more movement than has laid below our frozen tundra and iced vegetation. As the Spring of 2014 drifts upon us in a few more days (weeks), I hope I will be able to appreciate what the wind provides for us and greet it with welcoming smiles.
Wind dusts off, cleans away, and refreshes the earth as well as our body. The power of the wind reminds me the source of all wind (all energies) is controlled by my Creator and that God is the maker and purveyor of this earth.
Scientific Information about wind: For any of you who wish to read a “scientific Description” of wind, you may click this link. It seemed to me to be very mysterious in its definition—a little like wind seems to me! http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_wind.htm
For the wordsmiths among us, here are other words for wind:
breath ♦ breeze ♦ draft ♦ ozone ♦ puff ♦ blast ♦ waft ♦
whirlwind cyclone ♦ flutter ♦ cyclone ♦ flutter ♦ tempest ♦
typhoon ♦ zephyr ♦ ventilation ♦ chinook ♦ psithurism
Wind has so many attributes and has often been used in music & poetry.
One of the songs about “wind” is represented in the1969 Hollywood film “Paint Your Wagon” (They Call the Wind) Maria (pronounced /məˈraɪ.ə/) performed by Harve Presnell. Here is a video of that performance.
The exact opposite of Maria is when “wind” brings us the soft, wistful thoughts. “The Breeze & I are whispering goodbye…” For those who want to dance in the breeze, I’ve included that haunting melody here
The Breeze and I - words by Al Stillman, music by Ernesto Lecuona music written in 1929 as a piano piece called "Andaluza,"part of the Andalucia Suite by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona - words added later by Al Stillman - sung here by Caterina Valente, 1953
The breeze and I are saying with a sigh
That you no longer care
The breeze and I are whispering goodbye
To dreams we used to share
Ours was a love song that seemed constant as the moon
Ending in a strange, mournful tune
And all about me, they know you have departed without me
And we wonder why, the breeze and I
The breeze and I
Here is a little known fact related to weatherology:
As mentioned, the song “They Call the Wind Maria” was featured in the 1969 Hollywood film “Paint Your Wagon,” starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. It was George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, in which he presents the storm which is the protagonist of his story and named it “Maria” (pronounced /məˈraɪ.ə/).
In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”:
“The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye'”
The success of Stewart’s novel was one factor that motivated U.S. military meteorologists to start the informal practice of giving women’s names to storms in the Pacific during World War II. The practice became official in 1945. In 1953, a similar system of using women’s names was adopted for North Atlantic storms. This continued until 1979, when men’s names were incorporated into the system.