WEEK THIRTY-THREE: CARPE DIEM

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For the most part, flowers strike me as happily receptive.  They are open to the universe and ready to meet the day regardless of what it brings.  I do get that carpe diem is advice that most of us need from time to time.  But you have to admit that it is a stressful and aggressive way to exist.  “Seize” is not a relaxing word.

What about simply meeting the day, being completely receptive to it?  “Meet the day” has more appeal to me.  It’s so Zen, so without stress or expectations, so natural.  And so full of the potential for pleasant surprise.  One can simply sit quietly, without pretense or plan, and either deal with or delightedly soak in whatever happens.

I suspect this means I’m approaching retirement or at least a career change.

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WEEK TWENTY-NINE: THE SEASON

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It is Easter Weekend and here in Florida it is the peak of “the season”.  That is the term for the perfect storm that happens when all of the winter residents are, indeed, in residence and when most of the other folks who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and who are bone-tired of winter, boogie south just as far as their vehicles will carry them.

I have been out and about today, preparing for an Easter Sunday entertaining family and friends, and predictably found myself in the thick of this frenzy.  The short-term population boom was obvious, even in our little fishing village.  Highways clogged with motor homes festooned with bicycles and towing automobiles behind, like little cabooses, and small sedans laden with kayaks and kids’ floats – the scene reminiscent of a certain Chevy Chase movie.

I’m not sure if there is an official “Easter season spirit” like there is for the Christmas season, but if there were such a spirit, it would surely involve empathy and gratitude.  So I’m being empathetic (these people have suffered through a horrendous winter) and grateful – that apparently the US economy and Florida’s most important industry have both recovered.  It’s like old times.

Happy Easter/Passover to all.

WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT: IS IT REALLY STEALING?

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One of the modern markers of spring, most anywhere, is the appearance of waves and waves of flowers at one’s local garden center.  They are breath-taking, and they stir in me a yen to get outside and dig.  One clear bright morning this week, after a soaking rain, I stopped into my local store just to whet my appetite – I couldn’t help myself – and was handsomely rewarded.  Dazzling pinks, luscious oranges, creamy whites, sunny yellows, all fresh and dewy in that morning light.

Before I knew it, out came the camera and I was happily snapping away.  Something felt odd, though, and I glanced around me.  Sure enough, a worker was keeping an eye on me.  I wasn’t ready to stop shooting, but now I became furtive.  I placed a few flats of annuals in my shopping cart and waited for him to move out of sight before continuing.  Eventually I paid for my selections and left.  I was happy with my photographic harvest that day, but it felt a bit like plunder.  For the life of me, I can’t work out why that is.  Is it stealing if the victim lost nothing?