Spring is singing and dancing in my back yard. The buds are green on the trees and the azalea bush, the iris is shooting up along with the peonies and all the daffodils are in full bloom. The hosta grows bigger and greener with each passing day. Now, if only the weather would join the song and dance of spring and give us a warm day. Then I could sit on the deck (my favorite place this time of year) and enjoy the song and dance, and perhaps even participate in the frolic around me with a tune of my own or some fancy footwork.
Kazantzakis wrote that youth “turns on the faucet, permitting time to drain away uselessly and be lost, as though time were water.” We do that as we grow older, too, doing precisely what William Penn warned us about: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” The faucet of time is turned on, running its course, and we must use what time gives. We cannot turn it off now. We have never been able to turn it off. We can only use it and live it to the fullest. We do that by being alive to all the life that is in us, experiencing each moment as a sacred moment, each thought as meaningful, each song our own, every dance our dance.
What do I mean? Must I explain? I think you already know. Sitting on the deck may be a much better use of time than pulling the weeds that also grow along with and among the iris, peonies, hosta and the daffodils. (Even if you pull the weeds, they’ll come back again). Sitting on the deck may produce something more productive than accomplishing some chore that calls out to be done. (All chores usually have to be repeated and most can wait until tomorrow). Sitting on the deck and singing the song and dancing the dance of spring may be more significant than cleaning the house or washing the car. (Both will need cleaning again). But that moment on the deck, that moment in time, that moment of thought or without thought, may make you more alive to the life that is in you now than all those other things combined. This is not an excuse for being either old or lazy, it is a plain and simple truth that has taken me nearly all my 75 years to discover and experience.
The bride speaks to her beloved, “For now the winter is past, the rains are over and gone; the flowers appear in the countryside; the time is coming when the birds will sing, and the turtle-dove’s cooing will be heard in our land; when the green figs will ripen on the fig-trees and the vines give forth their fragrance.” I hear the bride speak to me: “Rise up, come away to the deck with me” (Song of Songs 2:11-13).
|Rain is needed, but still the peony grows.|