Simply spring

We picked the first strawberries from the beds beside our house this week. Little Rabbit tore hers off the stem with zero ceremony and popped it directly into her mouth. Red juice ran down her chin and she grinned up at me while she chewed. I think she likes this “grow-your-own” thing we’ve got going on.

Not far from the strawberry beds, my climbing roses are just starting to bloom. The vines are covered in dozens of buds and soon they’ll be heavy with the full, peach-colored flowers that make my heart sigh with pleasure. Those special-order roses are one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Last year they bloomed right into November! This spring the vines have grown faster and there are more buds than I’ve ever seen, so I think we’re in for a pretty spectacular show. The older I get, the more I appreciate simple things like the perfect perennial flowers.

Inside, Little Rabbit danced around the kitchen shouting “spinach! spinach!” before shoving the huge leaves into her mouth with both hands, little bits of green sticking to her chin.

Somehow, this slow springtime feels more full than others. There is time to linger over a cup of coffee, to sit in the garden and smell the basil and tomato plants, to wander through the neighborhood and feel the sun on my shoulders. Every day I find something new to celebrate. Pretty white blooms on the pea plants. The opening of peony buds. New leaves on tiny lettuce sprouts. I was made for this life of noting and cherishing the littlest of things.

There is an ongoing list in my journal of these small gifts, these everyday whispers from God that say “I love you” over and over. It grows little by little–more so on those days I really pay attention. I am learning that attention is all that is required to live a fuller life–or to notice it, rather, because life is already made so full.

Sips of hot, creamy coffee. A gentle breeze tugging on my hair. Tiny feet running through the grass. My first (successful!) attempt at sewing a little girl’s dress. Small and simple adds up, equals a full cup.

Beautiful, wonderful spring.

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