Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down,
to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes.
Our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Green parakeet flits
between branches on the old
When I went to university, the summer between my two years there, I was hired to help coordinate the Orientation for the next year’s transfer students. Transfer students are students who went to a different college or university the year before, which is what I was. I had real first-hand knowledge of how hard it was to move to a new school, a new town, a new house, and a new routine. One of my Orientation team’s goals was for the new students to meet as many key helping-type people – administrative assistants and computer or writing tutors and campus security – as possible the first day or two. Names and faces make transitions easier, I think.
Barbara was an administrative assistant in some department, I don’t remember which now, one of the sciences maybe; it doesn’t matter which. Because I knew her in passing, I went to her in person and asked for her participation in one of the Orientation events. She was horrified and not terribly nice about it. She’d never been asked to participate in an Orientation before and in no uncertain terms was she going to begin at this late date in her career. She was going to retire soon and, while I’d known that, I hadn’t considered it a factor because she was here now when I thought I needed her. So I didn’t think much of her as a person willing to try new experiences anyway. But that was just my opinion because of an unpleasant experience with her.
A year or two after I graduated, Barbara was riding her bicycle on her regular evening bike ride, and was side-swiped by a pick-up truck whose driver said he never saw her. Barbara was killed instantly. Her family was called to the scene to identify the body and make arrangements. When they returned home, they found the packet of seeds Barbara had laid out on the table in preparation for planting when she arrived home from her bike ride. The seeds were forget-me-nots.
Every spring when I see the first forget-me-nots bloom, I think of Barbara. Regardless of how I felt about our interaction, I was and am sad because I know her family and friends loved her and she them. I’d seen her with them; it was like watching a totally different person than the way she behaved with me. She didn’t know me, but I didn’t know her either and I was willing to ask. I risked being rejected and I was. How would it have effected her and our event if she’d said yes and participated? What if we treated strangers, people we don’t know or know well, with the same love and grace and sweetness of light with which we treat the people we love? Imagine the forget-me-nots we could sow in other people’s hearts instead of sour apples.
Flower Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhood this week: periwinkles; bleeding hearts; phlox; ranunculas; dark purple hellebore; yellow shooting stars; bright pink and white tiny bud tips on a row of espaliered apples; purple, cream, and pink/cream striped tulips all in the same bed – lovely combination; hot pink pinks; pale white and brilliant pink/red strawberry blossoms; Oregon grape; white lilacs; purple lilacs (my fave!) just coming on; the myriad shades of yellow daffodils and narcissus that keep on coming; forget-me-nots. Gaps in my flower knowledge (always learning something new!): a beautiful dwarfish tree with purple blossoms (mulberry?); a ground cover with delicate pale pink bell-like blossoms rimmed in darker pink, like upside down fairy teacups; a small greenish bunch-bush about a foot in diameter, that looks similar to chive but isn’t and randomly puts up six to eight inch stalks that are pinker than the purple chive blossom and similar in shape to same; several blooming bushes with quite a variety of fist-sized white clusters of tiny flowers; white flowered stink trees that during daylight hours have the most awful stink, but when the sun goes down they metamorph into a sweet nose treat. Goal: to obtain a good digital camera and increase the learning curve. Then you could help me increase my flower knowledge.
This week I have been grateful for:
- The bright green parakeet who has been in the cherry tree two houses down for the last two days. I hope if he belongs to someone they find him soon, but he should be well fed if he sticks around the cherry.
- Old friends who send me cute, pretty, witty, and funny cartoons and the new friends who like the same cartoons.
- Walking outside every day this week between rain squalls and not getting more than sprinkled on.
- Abundances in my home that hopefully will find new homes soon.
- Over-ripe bananas and new banana bread and muffin recipes.
- Green. Grass. Leaves. Pine and cedar needles. Moss. Ferns. Scapes and shoots.
- People who plant flowers. People who plant vegetables. People who compost and build real soil.
- Writers and bloggers who take time in their busy schedules to answer my questions.
- Red and green leaves of chard in a neighbor’s yard. Rhubarb in another.
- STRAWBERRY BLOSSOMS. I love strawberries, can you tell?
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.