Let me tell you something about the vegetation that exists where I grew up.
My part of Eastern Washington has trees (contrary to popular belief) but they’re pine trees, which is great in the winter when they stay fresh and green, but boring in the spring when they look exactly how they’ve always looked. Because of this, moving to college was my first real encounter with flowering trees.
Now, before I moved to Western Oregon, I cognitively knew that trees flowered, but that didn’t prevent my explosion of awe and wonder when the trees I had walked past for the entire year suddenly burst into bloom.
That first spring of college I remember that each time a new tree bloomed, I felt like I had made a terrific discovery. Walking to work at the Baldwin’s house felt like I was passing through a wonderland.
When spring rolled around my sophomore year, I was battling a bout of depression and juggling what, to this day, remains my hardest semester of college. That year I needed the flowering trees to help me remember that my tough life circumstances wouldn’t last forever, and that new growth was on its way.
Last year, I was living in the house in which I currently reside, and around the beginning of April, my housemates and I discovered that the two trees in our front yard produced these ridiculous and frilly, yet breathtakingly beautiful pink blossoms. I professed my love for these trees at every available opportunity, and spent copious amounts of time simply staring at them out my window.
This year, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the blooming of my pink trees. The weather’s been colder, so they bloomed substantially later (17 days, but who’s counting) but now that they’ve burst into bloom, I know that, as always, it was well worth the wait.
You might be wondering why I’ve taken so much space to wax poetic about a couple of trees that bloom, just as they’ve always done. Maybe it’s in part because I currently feel like a tree. I feel like I’ve spent a long season hunkered down to endure winter, working on internal growth (roots), but not having the resources and space I need to put forth creativity (blossoms). However, as I am getting ready to graduate, I feel the seasons shifting, and I sense that a season of creativity and new life is about to burst forth! The other reason is because I deeply believe in the importance of celebrating the good, the true, and the beautiful. No matter how busy, tired, stressed, or emotionally drained I feel, I know that a simple glance out my window make my heart swell with joy.
In the words of my roommate, “I feel like I’m living in a fairy house” – and it doesn’t get much better than that!