Greek-American Stories: Preludes

Spring is a prelude to summer.So, we should all enjoy the days that spring offers; Mother’s Day, Father’s day, Easter, graduations and, especially, thegarden that comes alive with the colors winter took away. My Royal Bonica,Sally Homes climbing rose bush and Knock Out rose bushes have fully bloomed, showing off their scarlet brilliancy,bringing random comments from passersby that make me happy. I worked hard to see those results, having attended a Rose Meeting at the local library. I learned so much.

I relish replacing the winter sweaters and pants, boots and heavy coats with short sleeve dresses, sandals and skirts.I make the first pitcher of fresh lemonade with a cup of water melon juice when the super markets get them in. During the week, with spring as my mute friend, walking is my transportation into the parknearby where a wide lake centers the park. Going around once is a quarter mile. I try to go twice. Immediately, the pressures ofthe week begin to ease away. I try to block that voice in my head that insist on reminding me of the chores that need doing.

After that brief heat wave last week,I can enjoy and appreciate the cool breezes wafting off the lake, watch the Canadian geese waddle toward the lake with their new fluffy chicks who follow mommy, closely. The lake is ringed with young trees planted only two years ago. Soon, those trees will spread out leafy branches and shade the new benches surrounding the red brick walk encircling the lake. Not far, between a stand of White Birch trees, anarrow stream of cool, clearwaterspills into the lake, gushingover rocks, causing a lovely, soothing sound. The serene silence surrounding the park is broken only by a bird in the trees, the squawk of a fidgety duck, and thefew happy children in the playground in the far cornerof the park. Of course, it’s different during the weekend; ball players, picnickers, joggers and parents pushing strollers alltry to enjoya brief respite away from the hectic routines of the long week.Suddenly, I am grateful for being in retirement and I can come during the week; my mind has the luxury of appreciating nature’s wonderful gifts. Being a cloud watcher, I enjoy the show the sky gives me for free. I wonder what it would be like if we lived in a place where it is always June.

For a short period, I forget my age, all the bad times, the pains in my fingers and the uncertainties of the times that seem endless and hopeless.Somehow, yesterday’s newspaper headlines are just that – yesterday’s news. Recently, I’ve stopped following the news – news that swiftly negates the serenity I enjoy in nature’s company.

I wish every dictator, despot, crooked congressman; prisoner and mean spirited human being could be here with me, see that the world is so stunningly beautiful, and with some help and wisdom can be even better.- heaven on earth. I wish they wouldfeel as I feel, think what I think,see what I see before me, welcome spring as a new beginning to what could be.Perhapsin the midst of so much overwhelming beauty some mental miracle would occur to deter their ugly ambitions, realize that the child on the swing could become tomorrow’s teacher, pianist, doctor or poet – and not a casualty oftheir destructive, toxic natureand ignorance that willonly revisit them in the end.If we handed one of those miscreants a rose you would witness a sudden, immediate change in attitude – if only temporary. Plato said beauty is natures’ privilege.Aristippus said, “It is better to be a beggar than ignorant; for a beggar wants money, but the ignorant wants humanity.” And, he, also, said, “Nature and wisdom speak the same language.”

With these intense thoughts crowding through my mind, they swiftly vanish – are vanquished – because I just saw two small deer approach the lake for a drink. Please excuse the lump in my throat.