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Report From PIA – April 6

Today I was blessed to be able to sit on my deck with my laptop, and write this while listening to the birds singing their spring songs. The sound of the morning doves cooing takes me back to my childhood in Muncie, Indiana, and the chickadees chirps remind me of living in New York’s Hudson Valley where I would garden while the kids rode bikes and big wheels.

These touchstones – touchsounds? – mingle with the present: the cool breeze against my skin, the view of the pussy willow in full flower on the edge of our property, and the scent of Pieris in full bloom. I’m not the first to say that spring is downright intoxicating.

As I sit on the deck typing this, I keep setting the laptop aside to pick up the camera, trying to catch the magic in an image. The pictures can’t do justice to the garden, partly because they don’t capture those birdcalls, breezes and fragrances. They also fall short because the manifestations of spring are actually pretty darn small. A group of three daffodils warms my heart to no end, but looks downright puny in a photograph.

I’m thinking that renewal in our lives is often as incremental as the changes in our spring gardens. Oh sure, sometimes people make big leaps by quitting smoking cold turkey, or deciding that from this day on they are not sprinkling the “f word” into every sentence. But most of the time our growth is more gradual, coming in fits and starts.

I know that in areas such as work, spirituality, relationships or passions (gardening?) our development may be erratic, with no guarantees. Daily life often unfolds in a process similar to spring: small bursts of color and progress that may get lost when we look at the wide view, but all fundamentally important to our overall growth.

Sitting on the deck and looking at this landscape, the pussywillows and emerging perennials seem in-my-face-vibrant, but in the picture? Not so much.

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