A RED HIBISCUS

Finding beauty, joy and hope could never be easier than in spring. If you have missed what’s happening outside – STOP reading. turn off the computer and use this three minutes to go outside and see the miracles happening. Even if it’s a gloomy, drizzling day you cannot miss them.

From the chair where I have my coffee every morning, outside most of the year, I get blessed by just sitting and moving my head. Two wee golden Day Lilies are struggling to open for their one day showing. There are at least fifteen shades of green from the lawn to the top of the giant Sycamore four houses away vying for my attention. Red Maple trees, that budded rust this year after a late frost, are now sharing branches with the chartreuse buds of summer. Pink blossoms on the Red Bud turned into garnet leaves overnight and the flowers of the Plum tree have been purple leaves for almost a month.

Glossy olive and rust leaves of a Magnolia wait to share praise with the large white blooms that will soon appear and stay all summer. From my vantage point at the top of a slight rise, a score of Crepe Myrtles stand like stick figures naked after an early and severe pruning in March. They wait to dominate the landscape with their size and colors through the dog days of summer in the south.

There are two potted, red Hibiscus bushes next to my chair on the lanai (we called it a patio in California). The vibrant blooms, six inches wide, open perfectly each morning brightening the scene as no other color or flower can.Two days of life per flower and three to four opening per day keep me amazed every morning. They will bless me all summer but cannot live through freezing temperatures. I will replace these and the geraniums (which were almost weeds in California) next spring. The only annuals I splurge on.

The other trees, bushes and flowering plants will return, in their cycle, next year. They will bud, leaf out, bloom and remind us that all of life has cycle and variety. Our task is to stop, notice and be grateful. It is from the awareness and thankfulness that we see beauty, feel the joy and renew hope.

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