This past weekend, Western Christians celebrated Easter. In about a month, on May 5, Eastern Orthodox Christians will have their Easter celebration. (The reason for the discrepancy is because the western churches use the Gregorian Calendar, which is the standard calendar for much of the world. The eastern churches use the much older Julian calendar. Here is an excellent explanation of the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.)
Regardless of the date of Easter, it is considered by all celebrants a time of joyous rebirth and renewal.
Christianity aside, for those of us living in the northern hemisphere, rebirth and renewal has arrived in the form of spring. Winter is over and new life is budding. At least for the folks who live in the southern part of the northern hemisphere. I’m sorry to say that those of you who live north of Texas still have some rough times ahead. I’ve heard that in Colorado and points further north, winter doesn’t let up until maybe June or July.
Anyway, the trees are greening up and wildflowers are starting to sprout from the ground. Except for here in Central Texas. The trees are greening nicely but the wildflowers are having a hard time of it. I know it’s still a bit early yet (historically they really bloom during April) but I’ve noticed that for the last few years, the wildflower display has not been what it was when I was growing up.
Years ago, at this time of year we could drive down pretty much any road and the rights-of-way would be an incredibly massive lush carpet of blues, reds and yellows. Sometimes they were so thick, the grass could not be seen. Kinda sorta like this but even more so.
I couldn’t find a photo that included the reds so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
The common names of the typical wildflowers found here are Bluebonnets, which has been the Texas state flower since 1901, Indian Paintbrushes, Indian Blankets, Brown-Eyed Susans, Mexican Hats and Evening Primroses. My favorite is the Indian Blanket.
Factoid: Bluebonnets, in small amounts, have no scent. But if you encounter a very large amount of them their perfume is light, sweet and heady smelling.
These days, there are still wild flowers but the display is becoming pathetically sparse. Why? It all comes down to rain and not the rains that come in the spring time. Our spring wildflower display directly hinges on how much rain we receive the previous October and November.
The last few years, we’ve been very dry. See this picture to your left? It was taken within the last couple of years, after the rain spigot was turned down to a trickle. Previous to that, this entire meadow would have been filled with wildflowers. Now, at least in my part of the state, the lush carpet is becoming threadbare from lack of rain.
This makes me terribly sad. The springtime renewal is now just a green blah. Now don’t get me wrong. Green is good but I yearn for the multi-colored palette that would put a smile on my face because all too soon, summer is going to be here and there will be absolutely no color at all except for brown.
Within my family, we’ve experienced our own rebirth and renewal with my mother. When me and my sisters were growing up, she was in a depression and wasn’t there for us as much as she wanted to be. Then about three to four years ago, she finally came out of it. After being in a depression for what was probably our entire lives, she’s now a completely different person.
It was weird. The mom I have now is not the mom I grew up with. It took a little getting used to but I’ve discovered that we’re quite similar in many ways. What she has that I don’t, however, is talent as a visual artist. Her pencil drawings are my favorite. She also writes poetry here.
Now that she has experienced rebirth and renewal, she can be the person she’s meant to be.
Seeing my mom as this new person reminds me that there is always hope of rebirth and renewal. For her it came after many years of traveling the hard rocky road of life. As far as the flowers, right now the rains have slowed considerably here in Central Texas but one day, one day, they will start back up again.
What about you? Do you celebrate Easter? What does your part of the world look like when spring arrives? Have you experienced new life or a renewal of life in some way? Tell me! I’d love to hear from you.