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Celebrate the Light

Juniper tree drinks in the light on a bright sunshiny day
Juniper tree welcomes the light

As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, it's more comfortable to be outside. One of the first things I saw when I spent more time outside was the weeds. They were popping up all over! They like the longer days and warmer weather too!

 

Plants other than weeds also like the increased light. Trees drink in that extra sunshine. Fruit trees gauge when it's time to sprout blossoms based on how much light they sense.

 

We're no different. Light revitalizes us. After the shorter days of winter, we drink in that light just as do the trees, the weeds and the rest of the plants. Light gives me more energy. I enjoy being outside when I feel the sun's warmth enveloping me. In spring that warmth is not too hot, so it feels really good.

 

Sometimes I like to lean on my hoe for just a moment and watch the sun filter through the juniper tree in my front yard. The light sparkles as it touches different parts of the tree. It tunnels through denser branches. It finds its way through every twig, needle and juniper berry on the tree, and it finds its way to me.

 

When I stand propped up against the hoe as I take a rest from weeding, I remember something my mother-in-law told me one spring day. She and my son, then about eight years old, were joking around as they chopped weeds near the house. When she took a break by using the hoe as a resting prop, my son looked at her with a smile aid said, "Someone's standing up on the job." She thought it was funny enough that it became one of her standard stories about her grandson.

 

Getting together outside in the sunlight brings families together in heartfelt, fun-loving ways. Yay for increased sunshine. Celebrate the light!

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What Helps You Know Spring Is Coming?

As I trimmed a rose bush in my back yard this week so it will be ready for warmer spring weather, I looked at other plants outside my house. Were buds starting to swell yet? No, it still isn't time for bushes and trees to start blooming in the area where I live. But as the weeks progress and the weather slowly starts to warm, they will sense that warming up time. When their intricate inner mechanisms tell them that blooming season has arrived, it will be time for buds to swell, for fruit trees to start the blooming process, for grass to green up, and for the neighborhood to sparkle with color.

 

If trees and bushes and other plants can tell when it's time for spring, how do we know that spring is coming? Do we also have an inner clock? Does something tell us warmer weather is on the way even while we still bundle up in our sweaters and jackets?

 

I imagine that we each have our own ways of telling when spring is on its way. Not only can we see that the thermometer is slowly climbing into higher digits, but we notice it doesn't take quite so many layers of clothing to stay warm outside.

 

Perhaps, like the plants, we have an inner mechanism that tell us when spring is coming too. Do we start to feel a little more excited? Now that January is finally over, does it seem like spring is less far away?  Do we feel the anticipation of warmer weather, of working in the garden, of playing with friends outside in weather that doesn't make our cheeks turn red with cold?

 

Here's a thought. If you could draw a picture of what your inner mechanism of spring's approach looks like inside of you, what would you draw? Would you draw a hidden away switch somewhere between your heart and your brain? Or would you draw something you can see outside of yourself? Would you draw yourself standing beside a bush surrounded by snow that holds its head high with the hope of spring? Would you draw a picture of your dog rolling joyfully on its back in grass still yellow with winter's sleep?

 

If you do decide to draw such a picture, once you're done, talk about it with your family. Ask how they sense that spring is coming. Hang your picture up in your room or on the refrigerator, or show it to your friends and ask them what their inner spring sensor looks like. You all will likely have different ideas to share. Have fun!

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