New Growth

The tree outside my window has some new little flowers on it. I never noticed these before, yet I’ve walked past this tree for ten years. I realized today that due to our having to work from home since mid-March I’ve really watched this tree awaken from its winter slumber. First there were the little sprigs of green as the leaves came out. Then, they became fuller. Last week it occurred to me that the tree was giving me more cover now as my desk looks out to the driveway and the path between buildings. Now that there are full leaves, people outside are less able to look right in on me–or think I’m watching them! Today I noticed these little flowerets. They are so pretty. I’ve always liked this tree, but now I’m seeing it in a whole new way, daily watching its growth.

So many of us are waiting for life to return “to normal.” We want this isolation to end. We want to return to school and work and restaurants and hair salons. We want “before.” But, I think we also know that we will never get “before” back. Oh sure, we’ll get back to the beauty parlor and the bistro, but life will never be the same again. Fashion designers are already offering trikinis for this year’s swimsuit season: top, bottom, mask. Life as we know it has changed. We too should change. When I look at my little tree outside my window, I realize that the daily attention has given me this view of beauty that I didn’t appreciate as fully when I used to just breeze past it on my way to the garage. And, as I said, this is a tree I have always liked. But now that I’ve given it this time, I see the details of its beauty. I hope that when we transition back to “normal,” our “new normal” doesn’t include the hamster-treadmill of modern life that we used to run on. Let’s try to hold on to some of the “pause” we’ve learned to live with and appreciate the beauty around us more fully.