As I write this, I’m getting ready to leave Naples and head back to Carmel, Indiana. I’ve been here about 10 weeks. It’s been extremely healing and renewing. When I got here the first week of January all the flowers were blooming. I didn’t see them. The sun was shining everywhere, except on me. As I shared with you in an earlier column, the first week was brutal. But I decided, no matter what, I would stay here and experience my first Florida winter without Joyce. I’m glad I did.
Good things happened. People I hadn’t been in touch with for a long time reached out when they were in the area. I reconnected with a longtime friend of mine who I’ve known since first grade. Several of my neighbors invited me to have lunch or dinner with them. I was blessed to share many an afternoon and evening with dear friends, old and new. I learned a valuable lesson this winter. That lesson is, in this season of life, it’s important to stay engaged with those around you. I believe an even more important lesson is to be open to new things. Accept that invitation to share a meal, get a cup of coffee, or visit favorite fishing spots. Be prepared and willing to experience new things.
We’ve all been through and are going through our own individual winter seasons, literally and figuratively. Emotionally, I’m sure we all have had some cold and dark times. I find my spirits lifted as I consider spring and all it holds. I’m looking forward to many things. I’m excited about re-joining my beloved church choir, preparing to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, and knowing what that means to me. I’m excited about getting back in my garden. I’m an avid gardener, and last summer, because of Joyce’s illness and subsequent death, I had no interest in it. I’m excited at the prospect of being able to witness the beauty of spring in Indiana. I look forward to being on the golf course with my best friends. I look forward staying open to new things. I can’t wait to hear the sound of the neighborhood kids playing, see greening of the grass and the blossoms of my favorite trees. Spring is life. Spring manifests beauty. I feel a personal season of spring starting. I hope you do as well. Life is beautiful. Let’s live it.