For New Life to Bloom and Growth to Occur, Death Must First Be Endured

Today, Christians all over the world celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which got me to thinking about the whole death and new life thing.

Webster tells us that resurrection means the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again. I say that even though we do everything we can to evade death, for new life to bloom and growth to occur, death must first be endured.

Death can be found in different forms.  There is the obvious physical but there’s also spiritual, emotional, and relational.  And then there’s the end of a job, end of schooling, and even the end of addictions.  Sometimes the end happens against our will, sometimes it happens because we bring it on ourselves by making not so good choices, and sometimes we initiate it because we’re ready for a new chapter in our lives.  Anything that changes our life story and give us a new normal is a death.

Crying Newborn

I don’t want to be here!  Courtesy http://www.Wallpirate.com

Our own birth is also a death of sorts.  We moved from one type of life, swimming in the nice warm dark womb, the muted sound of our mother’s voice vibrating through our being, to be born into a new life in the cold and bright light.  We went from weightless snuggly warmth to loud cold harshness.

On a global scale, each year the world experiences its own type of death.  This winter, large parts of the US experienced a brutal winter.  Cold upon cold.  Snow upon snow.  We’re coming up toward the end of April and it’s not over yet.  Even points south have not completely entered spring yet.  In central Texas, the flowers have arrived but there are still trees that have yet to put all their leaves out.

jack pine does not drop all of its seeds as they ripen. The majority of the seeds remain in closed cones that stay on the branches for many years. When a fire occurs, the thick cone protects the jack pine seeds from the intense heat. That heat opens the scales of the cone and releases the seed onto the ground where the fire has removed much of the existing vegetation, preparing the site for the new seedlings. Fire prepares a seedbed, reduces competition from other plants and releases the jack pine seed. – See more at: http://www.nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/learning-center/fire-in-depth/different-ecosystems/jack-pine-greatlakes.cfm#sthash.4I3iho8L.dpuf
jack pine does not drop all of its seeds as they ripen. The majority of the seeds remain in closed cones that stay on the branches for many years. When a fire occurs, the thick cone protects the jack pine seeds from the intense heat. That heat opens the scales of the cone and releases the seed onto the ground where the fire has removed much of the existing vegetation, preparing the site for the new seedlings. Fire prepares a seedbed, reduces competition from other plants and releases the jack pine seed. – See more at: http://www.nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/learning-center/fire-in-depth/different-ecosystems/jack-pine-greatlakes.cfm#sthash.4I3iho8L.dpuf
jack pine does not drop all of its seeds as they ripen. The majority of the seeds remain in closed cones that stay on the branches for many years. When a fire occurs, the thick cone protects the jack pine seeds from the intense heat. That heat opens the scales of the cone and releases the seed onto the ground where the fire has removed much of the existing vegetation, preparing the site for the new seedlings. Fire prepares a seedbed, reduces competition from other plants and releases the jack pine seed. – See more at: http://www.nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/learning-center/fire-in-depth/different-ecosystems/jack-pine-greatlakes.cfm#sthash.4I3iho8L.dpuf
Jack Pine Tree - Voyageurs National Park

Jack Pine Tree – Voyageurs National Park.  Courtesy National Parks Service

And then there’s the jack pine tree.  This tree does not drop all of its seeds as they ripen; the majority remain in closed cones that stay on the branches.  It’s only when a fire occurs that the intense heat opens the cones which allows the seeds to fall to the ground where the fire has prepared the site for new seedlings by burning away much of the existing vegetation.  Sometimes that includes the mother tree.

Another example are the plants that sprout from bulbs which must endure sub-freezing temperatures before they can bloom in the spring.

For new life to bloom and growth to occur, death must first be endured.

Each day when we wake up, we experience our own daily resurrection and an opportunity to grow in new ways.  We don’t have to wait until Monday or the first of the month or even the first of the year to move forward.  We can take this daily opportunity to move forward and grow.  If there are setbacks during the day, even then we can take a deep breath, put it behind us and start over.  Sometimes we have to start over multiple times a day but that’s ok.  Moving forward in growth is what counts.

What about you?  Have you experienced a death of sorts?  What does your new life look like?  I’d love to hear from you!

Karina

Categories: A Slice of Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wading in the Flowers

This weekend my mother, La Artista, came down from North Texas and we went to the Seguin area to check out the spring wildflowers.

Last year I wrote an article about the spring flowers, about how for the last few years their showings have been pithy and weak and sparse.  This year, things are different.  This year the showings have been spectacular.  SPECTACULAR!!!  Well, not as much as when I was younger, but in comparison to recent years, spectacular indeed.

I was really concerned that it would be overcast and we would not be able to enjoy the outing but were blessed on all sides.  The day was clear, the temperature was cool and the flowers were vibrant.

After checking the ‘net (www.bluebonnetlove.com) for for the latest and greatest best place to go, we went south toward Seguin. When we entered the Geronimo community just north of Seguin we saw a Texas Highways Historical Marker and stopped.  It was about Jose Antonio Navarro.

Jose Antonio Navarro

Jose Antonio Navarro

Short history lesson ahead:

Jose Antonio Navarro, a Tejano rancher, was deeply interested in Texas colonization.  Before Texas independence Navarro was elected to both the Coahuila y Texas state legislature and to the federal congress at Mexico City.  A strong advocate of state’s rights, he supported full Texas statehood in the United States of Mexico 1835 and embraced the idea of independence the following year.  With his uncle, José Francisco Ruiz, and Lorenzo de Zavala, he became one of the three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

For a long time he favored the annexation of Texas to the United States and was the sole Hispanic delegate to the Convention of 1845, which was assembled to accept or reject the American proposal for statehood.  Later he assisted in writing the first state constitution, the Constitution of 1845.  Remaining active in Texas politics, he continued to advocate for state’s rights and in 1861 he defended the right of Texas to secede from the Union.  He died in 1871.

Citation:  Stanley E. Siegel, “NAVARRO, JOSE ANTONIO,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fna09), accessed April 05, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

End history lesson.

Back on the road to Seguin.  As soon as we turned off the main road, we saw our first field filled with color.  Oh my, oh my, oh my.

Seguin Wildflowers

Seguin Wildflowers

I want my front AND back yard to look like this.

She wasn’t supposed to but La Artista picked a few flowers, that were growing in the road’s right-of-way, and made a few pencil sketches.  While she was doing that, I happened to look across the road toward another field and it took my breath away.  It was nothing but yellow.  Yellow, yellow as far as the eye could see.

Yellow Wildflowers

Yellow Wildflowers

When La Artista finished her sketching, we drove a little further and stopped at the Duggar Cemetery.  Country cemeteries are just about the best place to find wildflowers because, I think, because they’re plots of land that are tend to be left alone.  They’re mowed, but they don’t have the immaculate look of city cemeteries and maybe it’s that reduced attention that gives the country flowers a chance to get a foothold in the fall so they can spread their glory in the spring.

Rest in Peace, Little Heather

Rest in Peace, Little Heather

When it comes my time, I would love to rest in a bed of Texas wildflowers.

After this stop we were going to continue on to Stockdale but the driver’s side window in my car decided to engage in contrariness and not allow me to put it all the way up.  So with a heavy heart, we turned back toward home.

When we got close to San Marcos, we saw a sign for the Old Bastrop Road, which is part of one of the original roads in Texas, the El Camino Real or King’s Highway.  This road has been around since long before 1821 when Mexico gained independence from Spain and me, loving Texas history as much as I do, decided that we would drive on this road to get back home.

It’s really something to drive on a road that you know has been traveled continuously for over 200 years.  It twists and turns and goes up and down with the land, and there are blind curves and straight and flat areas in which you see a long ways.  I feel a connection with those who rode it all those years ago and it makes my heart sing.

El Camino Real

El Camino Real

This particular road has only two lanes and when we got close to the spring-fed San Marcos River we stopped to look at another historical marker.  Seems that Zebulon Pike not only explored Colorado, but he also came to Texas and somewhat irritated the Spanish authorities.

Lt. Zebulon M. Pike

Lt. Zebulon M. Pike

When it came time to cross the San Marcos River, the road narrowed down to one lane and went down into the riverbed.  I stopped mid-bridge to take pictures but I really wanted to just stare and soak in the peacefulness but could not because others were waiting to cross the river and they got impatient.  We climbed out of the riverbed to let them cross but then I turned around and went back.  This time no one was coming so we spent a little more time with the river.

The only downside about this day was that we didn’t see much of the Texas bluebonnet outside of that first field.  There were patches here and there, some even large, but by and large, not much of a showing.  Ironically, one of the most dense patches we saw was in the yard of a house just down the street from where I live.

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

New England and the Appalachians may have their fall foliage and those in Washington D.C. may have their cherry blossoms but we have carpets of multi-colored flowers that just beckon us to stop the car, get out and wade in.  Most land in Texas is private property but the flower’s lure is so great that many people routinely violate the law and trespass just to get to them. A good rule of thumb is that anything between the edge of the road and any fence or electrical pole is public property.  Anything beyond that?  Please stay off because it’s private property.

Hope you enjoyed the trip.  See you next time!

Karina

Categories: A Slice of Life, All Things Texas, On the Road Again | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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