Renewal. This word conjures a variety of images, from bright blossoms to meditating monks. When I think of “renewal,” I think of starting a new job, arriving in a new city that’s ripe for exploration, walking through a new apartment with white walls, and taking a hot shower after a challenging day. I also recall a trip several years ago to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon, which is where I took the photograph above. This lone pink flower amongst lily pads makes me feel renewed, fresh, and ready for what’s to come.
It was an early morning at the cottage. I was visiting my friends’ parents’ cottage, along with my friends and their young daughter. It was one of those perfect summer mornings, where everyone was taking things just that …. little… bit… slower, and we had fallen into cottage mode.
Everyone, that is, except for little T. When you are small, the world seems to rush by at a frantic pace, and you are always scurrying to keep up. You don’t want to miss a moment, and T was no exception. She was up and at it as soon as the sun rose, and while puttering around the cottage with her Zaidy was always a good time, she wanted more. This is where I came in.
A walk down to the dock, right after the sun rose, with a vivacious and charming partner and the best dog in the world was in the cards. We sat on the dock, and dipped our toes. We examined the beach for tiny frogs, and admired spider webs, strung with dew drops and glistening in the morning light. We whispered secrets to each other, and answered each others questions. We even founds some pretty flowers (and really, who’s going to define flower versus weed to a child?), and picked a few to make her mom’s morning.
When we returned, the flowers found a drink in a water glass, and our day was ready to begin again with breakfast and a full slate of activities. For the remainder of that weekend, though, just looking at those tiny flowers in the glass reminded us of the start of every day, and how we need to take time to breathe, to look at the spider webs and yes, even to stop to smell the flowers. Renewal indeed.
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