March’s fickle warmth swells the buds gracing the branches of the decades-old lilac bush, thriving outside my study window. For weeks, I observe this necessary violence, splitting apart the wombs of incipient life. Then for a few days, trenchant rains slow the process. Tension mounts.

Another sun-splashed morning gives the final push to the furled leaves, still moist from their birthing. A similar process continues greening our world, moment by moment.

Such violent emergence of fresh life speaks of casting off the outworn and embracing the new. How does one go about this—certainly not behaviors for the timid? Alignment with the Sacred does embolden hearts to plunge into the vibrant colors of life and relish them before they pass.

“Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

  • From the poem, Sometimes, composed by Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.