When I was young, I lived in western Massachusetts. To earn money for a new bike, I picked blueberries at the large blueberry farm in our town. The owner, Blueberry Joe!, let me pick every day that I could get there as it was miles away, and it became something wonderful for me in those years before I turned sixteen and could get a real job. It took a very long time until I could make enough money for my bike, but the fault was mine as I ate more berries than I picked for sale.
I think the love of all berries, but especially blueberries, has stayed with me all these years. I have bushes of my own now in the field, and it is yet another one of the miracles of nature for me. We are having many bees pollinating this year, so the crop should be a good one. My uncle had bee hives in his back yard so I was able to watch the process of beekeeping and the honey that I still love.
As a child, I loved listening to the bees, and watching them fly free. At times, they were not even looking for a flower and it seemed to me that they were flying just for the feel of it. The wind on their body, the noise of the humming, the high-pitched zzzzzzzzz, all turning my heart into a love of mixed emotions much like the walls of honey-combs in my uncle’s white bee hives.
So now I move on from the taste of spring to the smell.
Lilacs are one of my favorite spring fragrances. I love to stop by a bush and inhale my deepest breath, wishing it would last all year round. Its time is short for flowers so one must do this as often as possible. My other favorite is viburnum. Mix these two together in a bouquet, and you almost cannot take the powerful aroma it gives. I then carry it forever in my mind, and I think the flowers know that.
Flowers are akin to kindness my heart says. If I didn’t have them now in my life a part of me would dissolve, I fear, and all I counted on for spring might be lost. For it is kindness that makes the most sense anymore, and it follows me like a shadow once I recognize that piece. It is tender and yet unbearable if you don’t receive it.
Like the sprout that is hidden within the seed, all of us struggle in our life to be seen and heard, and listened to. If we have this kindness in our life our sense of failure fades away, and we again trust ourselves to see things as we perceive them to be…and then rest.
Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.
Read more about Sally’s life in her memoir FROM SCRATCH; available in paperback and ebook.