Flower Power

I saw many tiny wildflowers on my walk through suburbia today. Were they always there and I just now noticed them? New Year, new awareness sort of thing? Or is something finally coming alive in this world that has been dormant for so long? Is Nature reflecting this impending rejuvenation by blooming small crops of Bush Sunflowers at the entrance of Route 134?

I saw tiny English daisies in a sweeping patch near the bus stop, and little purple azalea flowers poking through someone’s shrubs. There were dandelions, too. Which I know are technically a weed, but there’s a metaphor there, I think. Anyway, I know it’s only January, but I think proverbial Spring might be on its way!

So positive right? Even as this virus continues to ravage people to our left and to our right. Especially those on the side that features poverty, poor housing, and limited job security. And even as thousands of people across our nation gathered in groups of hundreds and more to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Celebrate, the word simply coming from the words frequent and honor, so I guess these folks were just doing as they had done so frequently, honoring tradition, while thinking not a whit. The hospitals are at — and over — capacity. And someone is dying of Covid in California every eight minutes. Happy New Year, right?

But Spring is not all lollipops and butterflies. It comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, remember. So were are still in the lion’s mouth, collectively. I must say though, that I have found myself experiencing something akin to survivor’s guilt for all that has not befallen me and my loved ones these past months. We may all be in this storm together but, as others have noted, we are on varying kinds of watercraft. And, unfortunately, far too many people were provided absolutely nothing to keep them afloat . Yet I still declare that in some way, Spring “is bustin’ out all over, all over the meadow and the hill…” (From the musical Carousel which I may have performed in once, a very long time ago).

It’s silly to think that a calendar page can change the world, the vibe, the biorhythms, but that page was eagerly turned by many a human hand on the 31st nonetheless — at whenever their midnight occurred. (This was my first time on the West Coast for New Year’s Eve and I was completely flummoxed as to what to do at 9pm when the ball had dropped in Times Square and Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper were already drunk and signing off). I think we will all move slowly into this new mindset, that idea that there is some hope in front of us. I, for one, am taking solace in the fact that there is (probably) no longer a giant boulder perched above our heads that we cannot yet see but will soon be falling with a mighty speed upon us. (Picture Road Runner untying the pulley attached to said rock and Wile E. Coyote standing underneath, unaware). There is some reprieve ahead: vaccinations; a non-tyrant for president; increased consciousness about policing, incarceration, climate, and the foundation of inequality upon which this country was founded. These are like the tiny little flowers I saw today, popping up here and there, making me feel hopeful.

For those who have suffered so heavily during this pandemic, they are coming towards a time where there might actually be moments to process, to grieve, to begin the healing. For those of us who were given somewhat sturdier ships, we will soon have increased opportunity to provide that which the former are in need of. And we will also have the opportunity to see those many who we have not seen, have not touched, nor heard their voice in person. That is going to happen. We just need to be patient. April showers bring May flowers. There is a storm before the calm. Those little splashes of white, and purple and yellow that I saw on my walk today are not yet abundant. They are just making their first appearances right now, reminding us that it will get better, that the lamb is on its way.

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