This was a prompt that showed up in my Inbox in early April. The month's incessant rains had just begun, but already the white and purple crocuses had come and gone, replaced by daffodils and forsythia drenched in saturated, soul-stirring shades of yellow.
So I noted this in my journal, then went on to say that my heart was blossoming, too. Fresh, rain-washed breezes, sneaking in through open windows, had begun to clear my mental cobwebs. And my creative self was stirring, opening to new possibilities.
As nature responded to April's showers in predictable ways, more blossoming was in store for me, too--the result of a spontaneous decision to sign up for an online course called Sparkles. Daily 5-minute creative exercises, which I mostly did in the mornings before heading to work, set a tone that stayed with me as I faced constant stress and frustration in the office. What a gift it was to stop periodically and reconnect to the joy I'd felt earlier in the day, immersed in some new way of seeing, writing, thinking, or drawing.
Today, as I flip the calendar to May, I can look back and see the full impact of this month-long practice. How it has filled my well with resources and inspiration. And reawakened the thrill of catching a tiny spark of creativity and gently nursing it into a glowing fire. But without the crutch of those emails, the challenge to make space for daily self expression falls to me. Can I sustain it? Will the joy it brings over ride my natural inclination to make something else more important?
This morning, as I walked Jim to his car for his journey home, I noticed a few clusters of pale purple on a small bush in my neighbor's yard. The first lilacs of the year! The breakfast dishes beckoned. As did the laundry. I grabbed my camera anyway and snapped a few pictures. I took the time to close my eyes and inhale the flowers' heady perfume: one of my favorite things in the world. Then I sat down to write this post.
One day down. A lifetime to go.