The topics this week are about getting out of the house since it is Spring, or to talk about Easter. Since this will be posting on Good Friday, I will go for both.
I am generally not an outdoorsy person but I do enjoy beautiful scenery. I always enjoyed going to the ocean, (or bay), when I lived near the Atlantic coast and I have always wanted to go to an island somewhere. I enjoyed walking among Indian ruins or interesting terrain when I visited Arizona a few times and when we lived in Colorado, we were always on the road into the mountains or to large lakes. I love a beautiful park anywhere.
This was not a harsh Winter here until the end and then it hit hard. I could not wait to see flowers this year and I have not been disappointed! We have a great number of blooming pear trees in the area and I have never seen a show of flowers on them like there is this year. The redbuds are just beginning to bloom; the dogwoods and crabapples will be next. Unfortunately, my big mimosas will not.
When I was a child in Northern Virginia the woman next door to us had a mimosa tree. It was very rare for the area. Of course, it is too cold out West for them, so when we moved into N. Central Kentucky 22 years ago and found a house with a large mimosa tree, I was very pleased.
That one died a few years later but mimosas put out an incredible amount of seeds and they love the soil here. We could have a forest of mimosas instead of a yard within a few years if we let them grow. We did let two more grow along the driveway and they made a beautiful canopy over it in the Summer. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds gathered to the flowers. The former neighbor with the mimosa tree also had a large honeysuckle vine growing over the fence that bordered our yards and I planted one over mine here.(Honeysuckles don’t grow out West, either.) On hot, humid nights, I smelled my childhood again.
Alas! The two previous harsh Winters knocked the mimosas out, one-two, and they need to come down. It is hard to see them go, but we have to get rid of the dead wood. The branches breaking and the trunks are damaged. They aren’t doing the birds, bees and butterflies any good…and they are dangerous. We’ll plant there, but probably not mimosas.
Isn’t that what Lent and Easter are all about, examining and cutting out our ‘dead wood’ and renewing our lives by replacing it with new growth?
Jokes always fly about Catholics and what they give up for Lent. What most don’t understand, (even some Catholics), is that it was not only meant as a sacrifice to join in Christ’s, but to bring a self-awareness of one’s life and habits, a chance to ‘cut dead wood’. Also, it is a chance to practice charity, as the money otherwise spent on chocolate, movies, nights out, (whatever was ‘given-up’), should be given to the poor.
In the past half century or so, more emphasis has been given to ‘taking on’ rather than ‘giving up’ for Lent, but that is not a new idea. Most Christian churches have always had extra services and devotions before and around Easter, none more than the Catholic church. It is truly a shame that devotions, service to one’s fellow man, or even sacrifice to self is on the decline among Catholics and all Christians.
I have been ‘cutting dead wood’ in making my house clearer so that all can bloom in it. I have been giving up on unused or idle projects and their equipment. The family is experiencing many changes and I will have to adjust to the ‘seasons’ of it myself, or go the way of my mimosas, which could not change.
And I do hope to get out of the house and into the yard a bit, if these old joints co-operate. My poor flowerbeds are completely overgrown. I need more order there, too.
I wish all of you a Happy Easter and a wonderful Spring!
For fun, here is a picture of my aunt holding me, with my sister and brother.My mother is to the right.Our apartment can be seen as the two second-floor windows on the right. This was taken in Maryland, outside of Washington, DC.[Never mind how many years ago this was!]