There’s so much vitality in weeds. They find a way to grow in unlikely places and flourish even in harsh conditions. They add diversity and abundance to meager landscapes. They remind us that nature is bigger than our plans to contain it.
It’s astonishing how many colors there are and how many distinct colors have English names. A simple search led to this this page of the “954 most common monitor colors, as defined by several hundred thousand participants in the xkcd color name survey.” Almost 1,000 shades, and that’s just shades we can distinguish on a computer monitor.
I wonder if there are people who can exactly identify a shade, without comparing it to other shades, similar to the way those with perfect pitch can exactly identify a tone played in isolation. I’m definitely not one of those people, but regardless I can appreciate the wide variety of colors I see and the infinite combinations available.
Today I passed by an office building proudly labeled “Kite’s End”. How odd and quirky to name a building, but it fired my imagination. At first I thought of Charlie Brown and his endless failure with his kite. In his case it was a particular tree that inevitably was his kite’s end.
Then my son informed me that there’s a bird called “kite” and he guessed that Kite’s End referred to a hidden refuge for kites. How cool to learn things from your kids?
Anyway, I love the way this building is surrounded by trees and even in its name inviting birds to share its space.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam shehecheyanu v’kiyimanu v’higyanu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.
It’s spring! And right on time, the first buds are appearing on the trees. Even though it was an unusually mild winter, there’s still something wonderful about the official start of spring with the promise of new life and vibrant color.
The Shehecheyanu prayer acknowledges the newness with gratitude. And it’s not just for marking new seasons in the calendar year, it’s said at each new or rare experience, at the beginning of annual holidays, and to celebrate special occasions.
I love that it marks the moment of transition with gratitude for making it this far and for the opportunity to step forward into something new. And because I have been kept not only alive, but fully sustained and enabled, there’s the implication that I’m ready.
It’s amazing that even in the city with all the traffic sounds, it’s easy to hear the birds singing. It’s a joyous sound of nature going about its business. The birds are calling to each other, not to me. Yet even though I’m just an observer, I can enjoy it anyway. It’s beautiful.
If I don’t listen carefully, though, I can miss it. Like so many vital things, bird song isn’t loud and it won’t demand my attention. But if I heed its quiet call, it’s richly rewarding.
Of course today’s joy is Leap Day. How could I miss the pure quirky fun of a day that only shows up once every four years except when it doesn’t. (It doesn’t in years that are evenly divisible by 100 that are not evenly divisible by 400.)
There’s so much symbolism in it.
Leap Day is thought of as an “extra” day. It encourages doing something extraordinary, making the most of the time. Which immediately raises the possibility of doing that every day, by finding the extraordinary in my everyday life.
Then there’s the reality that Leap Day exists to align humanity with nature. We like the fact that our months appear in the same season century after century and have come to realize that the earth’s movement around the sun simply will not align with the earth’s rotation that makes a day in a way that allows for a working calendar.
We could fix the calendar by making longer days, but that would mean that sunrise wanders around the 24 hours, which would be at least as annoying as the seasons wander around the calendar. So, we can’t make a calendar that makes it all line up.
Of course the earth won’t change to accomodate us. So, our only choice then, is to align our calendar with the earth and thus we have Leap Day reminding us that nature leads and our best course is to follow.
All that from Leap Day.
Today was an uncommonly windy day, what Winnie-the-Pooh would call a blustery day. It was a good day for staying inside and finally slogging through my backlog of paperwork.
The wind sounded fierce, but it wasn’t actually a dangerously strong wind. Had it been autumn, leaves would have been flying. But it’s late winter and all the trees are still bare except the evergreens whose needles always manage to hold on. The branches held their own, too.
So I got to enjoy a snug day at home, secure from the howling yet harmless wind and a great reminder that things are not necessarily as bad as they sound.