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Hope on the Petals of Forsythia

We’re having so many soggy, gray, cold rainy days that seem like they’ll never end. It takes a heavy toll on me physically, mentally & emotionally. I try to embrace nature daily to ground & connect, but it’s hard when my body fights it. For me, it very much becomes mind over matter.

Sometimes, it takes my daughter’s bubbly energy to propel me grudgingly outside. I bundle up, grab a chair, cup of hot tea & my phone. Grumbling to myself, psyching myself up to just enjoy the fresh air for a few minutes. By the time she’s on the trampoline & I have my chair set up something is pulling my attention. It never fails. I rarely sit before exploring where I’m being pulled.

I set down my mug, stick my phone, that also doubles as my camera, in a pocket and start to wander the yard. Today, I didn't wander far. We have a two-tiered backyard and the bottom tier is doing its impression of a boggy swamp and I didn't feel like losing a boot. I already navigated it while getting a chair out and was not looking forward to putting the chair away. So, I headed up to higher ground and our side yard.

My forsythia has been pulling me strongly for the past 2 weeks with its bright, effervescent yellow blooms that almost sparkle in all this drab weather as water rivulets roll off the delicate, yet sturdy petals. I've found myself sitting at our kitchen table lost in its beauty & yearning for our yard to dry out so that I can start my work expanding gardens & clearing out volunteer trees, brambles & whatnot from around our house and fence line. As I'm planning my gardens and mapping out the work to do list, I'm also getting impatient to start. So, I'm trying to remind myself to embrace these in-between moments, which has been an ongoing theme lately.

Taking a deep breath, I slow down to watch how the sunlight is playing on the forsythia and then realize that the clouds have ever so slightly shifted enough to let some blue sky through and much needed beams of sunlight. I pull my phone out & swipe it into camera mode hoping to capture some of this moment. I vaguely register a male cardinal flying in for the bird feeder, which I'm in touching distance of and he barely put feet down only to fly a bit further away to a nearby crepe myrtle branch when realizing he had company. Then, as I have my shot lined up and trying to focus, I hear a distinctive flap of a wing just above my head. Without looking, I know it is a Cooper's hawk. Oh, how I want to look up to see this magnificent bird so close to me. I resist the urge because I fear that he'll fly away as soon as I turn my head. And then, my oldest throws open the kitchen window to talk to me and excitedly exclaims that there's a hawk just above my head at the same moment that I hear the flap of wings again taking off. Just like that, the moment shifts. I watch the hawk fly a loop around our neighbor's house back to the pecan tree in our front yard. He stays for just long enough to get his bearings & takes off again. I go back to see if I can still get the shots of the forsythia, hoping that the lighting hasn't changed too much.

Time now to sit, drink my cold tea and watch as my daughter shows off her trampoline agility. 30 minutes is how long we stay out before we're ready to go in to warm up. 30 minutes of in-between that I probably would not have taken time to enjoy had it not been for my daughter's insistence to get outside.

The silliest part to me is that I've pretty much been living for all these in-betweens the past few months. These in-betweens re-spark, reawaken, replenish. So why is it so hard to get myself out there to be in them?

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