Archives for posts with tag: spring

I find myself paralyzed these days as I watch the horror of the current elections with both amazement and genuine terror. When you get to my age, you hope you’ve seen everything stupid that can happen and then this…

Trying to figure it all out, I think back to the elections of my younger days when we didn’t have 24/7 news coverage, the internet or social media. We got a little news from television, more from newspapers and magazines. I’m not advocating we go back, because we can’t, but it has definitely made an impact on how we live through the news ad nauseum as it unfolds minute by minute.

To be fair, and because I tend to want to see all sides of an issue, I try to watch and read as much as I can from every viewpoint. I had a conversation with a university student who was turning 21 and voting for the first time in a national election. His genuine confusion was interesting as he tried to make sense of anything, even with so much information all around him. The problem is that we’re pounded with it, over and over.

When I’ve worked on projects where I need to get a message to an audience, I’ve learned that you need to send it in as many ways as possible since most of us get so much information every day that we may miss it or put it aside. Some of my friends rarely read an email and have no idea how to tweet or text. Snail mail may work best with them. Maybe. Most of us need it all to make something stand out. Repetitive jabbing at the consciousness. Obviously, politicians embrace this technique to the extreme. No publicity is bad publicity, as they say.

So, the end result of all of this constant repetition of the confusing messages is a sense of alarm, a gnawing fear that this year’s elections are leading us to a place most of us don’t want to go. Every day is some new trigger from our state legislatures, the election rallies and debates, local craziness. Always something.

It doesn’t help that I’ve just finished two books that revolve around Germany in the 1930s, “In the Garden of Beasts,” by Erik Larson and “The Boys in the Boat,” by Daniel James Brown. Read them both. You’ll learn from the first one and feel better about being human from the second. My brain is full of images of Hitler’s speeches inciting the crowds to follow him blindly into the evil chaos that was to come. Do we never learn from history?

I understand being fed up with the powers that be. When did we become a country that only worked for our political parties and not for the people? What is this stalemate that has been created in state and national legislatures where you can’t vote for your conscience or for what you know, only for what your party leaders tell you to vote for – if you want to be reelected. And who doesn’t want to be reelected, especially to a national office where you get perks for life even if you’re an idiot and only serve one term. Wow!

In the past months, I’ve had nightmares, real nightmares, about Donald Trump. That’s the result of the constant pummeling at my brain that is coming out in my sleep. I need my sleep.

I have no solution for the madness that is going on around us other than to be careful with your votes. I’m not even sure I want you all to vote if you’re going to continue voting the way you have been. “The people speak” isn’t as reassuring as it used to be.

Last year, one of my favorite movies was Disney’s “Cinderella” with its message: Have Courage and Be Kind. My new mantra.

Right now, I’m going to look away from all the nuttiness and say goodbye to Winter with it’s slanted light and lovely images through the bare skeletons of trees…DSC_0002

…and say hello to Spring with its burst of Hope we need today and every day. Maybe the Spring rains will wash away some of the nastiness that is creeping into our souls.DSC_0003



Winter evolves into Spring with the most dramatic and the most hopeful of changes.  In the city, there are beautiful flowers and trees, but most of them have been specifically planted for the effect.  Not that I don’t love seeing the gorgeous azaleas and flowering trees and popping flowers.  I love them!

I’ve been through some long sad winters in my life, life changing seasons when I had to trudge through loss and hope I could make it into the next phase.  But Spring always comes along to brighten my outlook.  Always.

This year, I’ve had the lovely experience of driving a state highway at least once a week, making the changes in the countryside even more dramatic.  One week there was snow, the first week in March.  A couple of weeks later, I noticed the trees were fuzzy, small leaves pushing their way out.  By the end of the month, we were having warm days, punctuated with the kind of clouds we watch explode in the sky, the ones that show the atmosphere is in turmoil and we have to watch carefully.  The beauty of the massive clouds can easily turn into dark skies with swirling tornadoes dropping towards earth.  DSC_0344A week after I see the leaves pushing at the ends of branches, I’m overwhelmed by the sense of the baby green colors of the trees around me as plant after plant shows its new colors.

Then the redbuds bloom in the forests, our state tree showing its colors, fuchsia and white, wild along the roadways.

DSC_0007 DSC_0006

The ground is turning from brown to green for the babies, calves and colts, that arrive.  I drive into a mass of young green…the lacy profile of the branches from winter is filling in…

DSC_0255We still have wild skies and are enjoying a rainy season, needed for all that grows from the earth…DSC_0333The Cimarron River is filling and the trees along its bluffs are softer…DSC_0256I call this the “Sky Barn,” a place I see from the road at a country intersection.

DSC_0254And then, there was color along the roadsides, Indian Paintbrush starting to bloom.

DSC_0160DSC_0164Over the past two weeks, the flowers are spreading and growing brighter as I suddenly see fields of the wildflowers…

DSC_0162 IMG_6943And other flowers are coming, purples and whites and yellows along the way.

DSC_0168The baby greens of early spring are now lush shades of deep green, the trees full.  And my heart is full of hopeful new feelings.  Welcome Spring!


A week ago I drove through the countryside which was accented by stark snow-covered branches against the sky.  A week later, just a week, I drove through the countryside on a cloudy, rainy day and noticed a difference.  The tree branches looked fuzzy on the ends.  I realized that the leaves were starting to bud.

IMG_6531And then the week brought more signs.  There were wildflowers in a patch by the road, a little color.  Suddenly, cows were standing on green patches.  When the sun came out, it was warmer.  I got a sunburn watching a grandson play baseball.

There may be more winter to come, but, for right now, Spring is definitely beginning to push Winter aside.  The cycles of nature are a continual source of hope for us all.

DSC_0008Today, Good Friday, I’m going way back to a poem I wrote in 4th grade.  Enjoy!

Spring is Here

Spring is here, the grass is green;

Fish are bubbling in a spring;

Frogs come out of their beds of mud,

Tiny leaves are all in bud.

Birds are singing in the trees,

Singing in the gentle breeze.

Spring is when the tulips come,

And the bees begin to hum,

Stars shine brightly in the sky;

Mother sings a lullaby.

Round the maypole, round we go,

Turning this way, to and fro.

Spring is here; let’s give a cheer!




It’s almost Spring officially and I’d put off raking the leaves covering my flower beds as long as I could, so I enlisted the help of my 4 year old granddaughter and went at it.  She learned to use the leaf blower, which was fun for her but she didn’t have much of a plan for blowing other than the laugh out loud joy of making the leaves fly.  She was better at raking until she said she was sweaty…


While I made a big pile, all the time thinking I probably should have done this last fall even though I hauled bags of leaves out then, she decided to make a nest, feathering it with plumes from an ornamental grass and sticks.  This was quite the project and she absolutely did have a vision for this.


While I raked, she nested, finally taking a fake nap for my benefit.


It’s ok that I didn’t get these raked last fall.  We uncovered tulips about to bloom and made room for the other spring plants to reach out to the sun now that the temperatures are getting above freezing.  In the fall, she jumps in the piles.  In the spring, she makes a nest.  I wonder if that’s some primal instinct.

I was thinking about raking leaves when I was her age.  We had a big brick incinerator in our back yard where we burned them.  You can’t burn leaves in the city now, but the smell of those burning leaves stays with me.   I do miss that smell, a smell of my childhood.

We stirred up a lot with our leaf play.  A lot of dust and smells, a lot of imagination, and a lot of memories.

Today was sunny, cloudless blue sky, the wind that blew you hair felt good and was cool enough to keep you comfortable, not an Oklahoma gale. I took an afternoon walk by the river along with the human parade of Tulsans. There were walkers, runners, strollers, toddlers, children, bikers, dogs running or walking on leashes, skateboarders, wheelchairs, fishermen/women with poles and even a bowfisher, sunbathers, families, expectant families, grandparents, parents, couples, singles, and friends of every ethnicity, all out on a lovely spring Sunday. The parking lot was crowded and the people came in shifts all day long.


What struck me today was how quiet it was. There were quiet conversations overheard, Canadian geese honking overhead, birds singing loudly, but nothing was really loud. Usually, I hear the thud of runners, the hum of bicycle wheels, more talking, more laughing. Nothing was wrong, but it was noticeably quieter. People smiled or nodded if you looked their way, but everyone seemed a little more inward today.


It’s been a rough week if you stay glued to the television news. And all of us are a little broken just from everyday life. Our bodies and/or our souls have little, or big, nicks taken out of them from personal experiences, illness, grief, heartache, worry, stress. It’s part of being human. Even if you’re happy and content, you might need an extra boost to keep that going.

Today was a healing day. You can’t breathe that clean, fresh after rains air without feeling a little cleaner inside. Even in an urban area, walking by water helps you feel part of a stream of life. I didn’t feel alone walking, I felt part of that lovely parade of people. We were all connected to the beautiful day we were experiencing and we were all soaking up the beauty.

Sunday is a day of rest and regrouping before people start another work or school week. Our lives in the city are all geared that way, even if you’re retired. All these people returned home refreshed, feeling better and stronger, ready for whatever. A beautiful day is always a gift. You never know what tomorrow will bring.