At the age of sixty-seven, my doctor tells me it is important to get daily exercise. So most days of the week, I take a two-mile walk. Some of those walks this past winter were pretty bone-chilling cold, and I was ever so grateful when my husband would have a cup of coffee waiting for me when I returned home. But walking in the spring sunshine is wonderful. It feels as good for my soul as it is good for my heart and muscles. Yesterday, as I took my walk, I noticed all the spring flowers and bushes that are finally in bloom. They brought back so many memories, old pictures flashing through my mind of growing up and of raising my own children. Those pictures, those memories, were also good for the soul. I like to think they were good for the body too!
Those little white, cascading flowers…I have never known their name. They grew everywhere in Michigan when I was little. We picked them when we played outside at home and at school. We made hair rings with them, fashioned them into garlands and just picked big bouquets of them. Mom was always good about those bouquets…they always had some kind of little, creepy-crawly thing in them, but she seemed not to notice. When my own children brought me huge bouquets of these pretty little flowers, I hope they found me as grateful as she was, and as unmindful of the little things inside.
Honeysuckle was always good for a snack on the way home from school with my two brothers and my sister. Now we have one in the backyard and our kids loved the sweet nectar they sucked out of the blossoms even more that I did.
Dogwood and Redbud are trees of my parenthood. They grow wild here in Missouri, and are the reason the whole family says that almost nothing can compare to springtime in Missouri. Driving through the countryside you will see them close to the roadway. But if you look further, you will notice them bringing beautiful spring color to the woods as the other, bigger trees are still struggling to leaf out. This spring view into the woods is my favorite and gives me such hope for the warm weather and new life to come. Even along the interstates, our kids would point out these flowering trees pushing out from the stone of our Missouri hills and bluffs, giving color to the grayness of the roadway and the cut rock.
When I was a little girl, my parents took us each year to pick apples. Those were such great events as the four of us kids ate almost as many apples as we picked. We would bring home bushels of apples which my parents and grandparents would then turn into many jars of applesauce and apple butter for the coming winter. We took our children apple picking too…so much fun, so many memories. My husband and I still go apple picking and now it is the grandchildren who enjoy the applesauce and the apple butter resulting from these trips to the orchard. Several years ago, our son gave us an apple tree for our yard. It never bloomed, and after three years we bought another, hoping that would help produce blooms. For two more years nothing happened. Then, last week, I noticed that the first apple tree indeed had blossoms. I was about as excited as I could be and immediately posted pictures of the blossoms on my Facebook page. Only the one tree bloomed, and I don’t know that we will have apples, but those blossoms are a good sign of things to come and a great reminder of things that are now past.
As you take your spring walks, are you reminded of things from your childhood? Do familiar flowers and bushes bring back memories? I would love to hear about them…and if anyone knows the name of my “little white flowers”, don’t tell me! I like thinking of them as special blossoms that have no name, but have the ability to bring back great memories from a very blessed life.
Happy May Day!