After a year of suffering, spring brings hope
By Stephan Drew
I really do love this time of year! The grass and trees are green, the flowers are blooming and, everywhere, there is a sense of rebirth and renewal. It couldn’t come at a better time. We have experienced over a year of shutdowns, sickness and dismal news. It’s time for some sunshine, color and good news! And I sure am glad to see it! Now that millions have been vaccinated, we are starting to feel better about our present and our future. The storm isn’t completely over but the clouds are beginning to part and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. All over the country, businesses and schools are opening up. Maybe not as fast as we would like but, at least, it is getting better. We’re starting to feel a bit like our old normal selves again. We can start making summer plans and hoping for (and expecting) the best again. Personally, I look forward to a bumper crop of roses this summer. We have quite a collection of rosebushes of many varieties. I prefer hybrid teas but we also have floribundas, grandifloras and climbing roses of many colors and fragrances. Last year, with all the free time I had, I experimented with rooting roses from cuttings. Although I don’t think I have a “green thumb,” they did rather well. Out of the 10 cuttings I made and planted, I have seven new rose bushes that will produce their first blooms this year. I couldn’t be more excited! To see something grow and bloom, knowing that you are responsible for its success, is a wonderful feeling. They are like children to me. I started them, fed, watered and fussed over them, worried about them on the really cold frosty nights and nurtured them all the way. So I will take great pride in seeing them come to full flower. And I think about how much that is like our lives over the past year. We struggled and had to completely alter our entire way of doing things to make sure everything survived. It wasn’t easy. There were many days and months that we could have just crawled in a hole and given up and most people would have completely understood. But we didn’t. We fought back and kept going. We made the changes necessary and grappled with many new ways of doing things. Now, as we look back, we feel somewhat victorious because we not only survived, we became stronger within ourselves. 2020 is not a year that we will look back upon with undiluted pleasure. Millions of businesses, lifestyles and loved ones are now gone. We will always mourn their loss and do our best to try and be there for the families of the departed. We have seen the worst and things are getting better. We survived and life will go on. And this season of the year is one for looking at the bright side. The sun is out and there is color everywhere. We had some heavy rains that helped wash the pollen away and maybe, God willing, there won’t be much more to bother us in the coming weeks. I pray that all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend and your lives are quickly getting back on track after over 12 months of chaos and confusion. It’s springtime, ladies and gentlemen, and a new sense of promise is in the air. Good things still happen, good people are still around and wonders abound. You just have to know where to look. A good place to start is your garden. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Have a wonderful spring!