Treena Mielke

Mielke: Stop and smell the roses

Have you ever taken the time to watch grass grow?

Actually, I have not done that, myself, but I have heard people talk about it.

“Yeah, I’m going to the cabin this weekend. Not going to do much. Just watch the grass grow.”

I smile and say nothing. But I’m thinking watching the grass grow is a good thing. It means no pressure, no worries, no deadlines. In fact, nothing to worry about at all, really.

In my world, it always seems I’m too busy to watch the grass grow, running here and there, doing this, doing that, always a few steps behind where I’m supposed to be. I’m not sure why that is, being my children have all grown and I am no longer in the trenches of the media world.

It’s weird how it’s so easy to get busy and forget to smell the roses, or even notice the roses, for that matter.

Anyway, this year, I have not watched the grass grow in any way, shape, or form, but I have had the absolute delight of watching the slow, but steady unfurling of tiny, delicate lilac blossoms on a tree outside my kitchen window.

Watching these blossoms unfurl was not a planned event and definitely not on my to do list. No. It happened quite by accident, really. Every morning I would sit at the kitchen table, my fingers curled around my favorite coffee cup, the white one with the little basket of blue flowers on it, and there it was sitting outside my kitchen window.

The lilac tree.

And so, every morning, I started watching the blossoms slowly come to life. It was better than Netflix. And it was definitely better than watching the news or chatting on the phone.

It turned out it was quite enjoyable, really.

The buds started out tightly furled, barely visible. But every day they would open a little more, just a tiny bit. And then one morning when I glanced outside, the delicate, mauve blossoms were out, flaunting their gentle beauty for all the world to see.

Eye candy. It was amazing.

And, once again I felt my senses tingle with that good, happy feeling that seems to come out of nowhere when the air smells like summer and lilac trees are heavy with fragrant blossoms.

Of course, you can indulge your senses in all the color and beauty summer has to offer, but, to my way of thinking, you need people in that picture to make it complete.

I explained this fact to the littlest grandson last night as we sat at the ball field waiting for his brothers to finish their ball practice. We were carefully spooning Dairy Queen blizzards into our mouths and chatting about important stuff at the same time.

“I have to write a column in the morning, Jacob, I said.

“Is that for the newspaper?” he asked, carefully scooping another spoonful of the delicious ice cream into his mouth. “What will your write about?”

I look out at the dusty ball fields and hear the chatter and the laughter of the ball players. I hear the staccato crack of the bat as someone hits a good, solid single.”

And I think about how my night just got a little bit better when I got the phone call to take the boys to ball practice. And I think about summer and how we are just on the cusp of it and how the air is soft and warm and now blessed we are to live in a country where winter does eventually melt into a softer, kinder season.

“I don’t know, Jacob,” I reply. “I will write about the little things in life like lilacs and summer and a night like tonight when we are eating blizzards at the ball field, and everything seems right with the world.

Jacob contemplated my words quietly before changing the subject.

“I see you brought your glove, grandma,” he said. “Do you want to play catch with me?”

“Yes,” I said. “That’s exactly what I want to do.”

And, as the sun slowly dipped behind the horizon and the curtains closed on another day, that’s exactly what we did.

And it was good!

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives with her family in Sylvan Lake.