Between a Book and a Flowery Place

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Spring is deepening day by day and the long winter days of deep snow and frozen driveway are fading beyond the horizon of my memories. My dog is dozing lazily in the sunny spot on my deck and the flower seeds are hard at work diligently growing the shoots every day. I dry radish slices in the warm spring sun to prepare them for broth. I place a pot of simple vines that I dug up from my yard on the table and I admire how it gets taller and taller each day. I collect every seed I find in my oranges, lemons, and peppers. I buy some organic soy beans to try growing bean sprouts at home. There are so many activities to keep me busy. The world of nature is busy at work blooming the flowers and waking up from the dormant season to spread the fresh green leaves. It is hard to be lazy this time of year. Except my dog, of course, but you can hardly blame him.

With each bud I see on trees and bushes, I find my world enriching little by little. I find new faces in my flower garden every morning when I take my dog out to potty. Every day, I feel I gain a fresh new relationship. It’s especially therapeutic during this global pandemic when I rarely get to see new faces outside my immediate family. During the winter, I ordered fresh new books from Korea to help lift up my mood. I no longer take anti-depressants but it doesn’t mean that I am completely free from dependence. I still rely on things or activities. I still go through days and weeks, or sometimes months, when I feel I am trapped in the endless darkness and I am eternally doomed. Is this what Aron Ralston felt when he was trapped by a boulder? I dare to ask myself in the darkest pit of my mental agony. But between a book and a flowery place, I can hardly complain.

Each day, I do my best to find a meaning and make an effort to choose joy. They keep me focused here. If I look away, I get swept away by the deadly waves of unfulfilled dreams and unsatisfied longings. I don’t succeed every day but I am getting better little by little. Like the unfolding days of spring that unpack its surprises when I am most unaware of, I joyfully stroll through this life with the unexpected help of bible verses, good books, good music, beautiful flowers, and plants. And even though my nagging sadness that had been my lifelong companion is alway there for me to notice, I now also notice the beauty of life that makes the struggle all the more worth it.

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