As the sun beams down on my little slice of Appalachia between two mountains I wander around the lawn just taking time to center myself. Almost two full months without any daily commute has left me rested but feeling a little constrained. I stood out next my Flame Azalea and closed my eyes to listen for what the wind might whisper of the outside world. The warblers and wrens are busy building and maintaining their nests. The little fly catchers that seem to nest on my downspout every year have a nest full of hungry babies. Further up the mountain a woodpecker is putting on a drum solo that would be the envy of any rock concert. I removed my shoes so that I could feel the cool earth beneath my feet. The ground is alive with unseen and wondrous things. Things that reach and grow and connect with all of God’s creation. The wind speeds up and plays with my hair for only a moment’s teasing as clouds begin to roll in. I can smell the ozone left behind by the lightning and a distinct thunder shakes a neighboring mountain. I opened my eyes to see the new spring leaves turn themselves in preparation for the rain.
I caught the flash of the second lightning bolt and counted as 10 seconds passed by. The storm is 10 miles down river. The humid breeze shifts slightly wafting the sweetness of the Azalea my way. I have a few minutes of peace before the weather rolls in and I use the time to get lost in the sea of bloom on the little bush. Now fully open the Azalea is working as hard as it can to draw the pollinators in. Once it has reached this stage the flowers will fall away to make room for the lush green leaves.
The seasons are shorter than we’ve ever suspected and soon the storms will change the world again. I have learned that the time to appreciate life is always now. We have only this moment to live in there’s no time to mourn tomorrow’s loss without giving up today’s joy.
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