Friday, April 19, 2013

Bike Ride Thoughts and Advice from Tulips

     Let's face it, this has been a terrible week with awful events in Boston and Texas and still dealing with it. Terrible news makes me sad, and I try to avoid too much of the news and even the stuff people post on social media not because I don't care, but sometimes people jump to conclusions and judge others before the facts are even straight. I like to see the good in people, I like knowing that people still help each other in times of crisis and awful events. I like to see the beauty in humanity by seeing that good. I like to look to the natural world for inspiration and good vibes and I thank the tulips for my inspiration today.
     I often tell people, when walking by a bed of tulips, how much I love tulips (I really do!) but it always makes me sad that they last maybe like a week or two, then turn ugly, and disappear for a whole year. I really hate that they go away. I hate those bare stalks and the petals scattered on the ground, like someone shredded through them. But on my bike ride today (I ride approximately 11.5 miles home from work, so I had some time) I was thinking about the events this week, spring, and tulips. It is such a random combination of things but this is what I thought about:
     So spring, it is seen as a rebirth in nature. The deadness of winter is gone, things come back to life. Colors return in the green leaves of trees, the yellow of the daffodils and forsythia, blue, white, and violet crocus. Life returns as birds come back from their winter in the tropics, chipmunks awaken from underground, and turtles come up from the mud of the ponds. New life begins as flowers pollinate to make seeds and birds build nests in preparation for their precious eggs. Spring is the comeback season, people are generally happier, the sun shines, that warmth is finally felt for the first time in what felt like forever.
     Every spring the tulips grow, they start as a tiny little nub, poking from the ground and over a few weeks turn into that towering flower we all love, somehow the skinny stalk holds up that large bulb of petals. So I rethought my idea of tulips and how they die and how it makes me sad. Well, what happens when you think about it in a different light? This is what I came up with:
     This bulb, this ugly bulb is put into the soil, but with special care. Bulbs can't be put too close or they don't have enough room to grow and they can't be placed too deep or too shallow, it has to be just right. With love and care this ugly bulb grows into this gorgeous plant. The leaves are this perfect shade of green and look deliciously smooth and then the flower itself has these giant petals that you just want to touch and put your nose to.
     The tulip may appear to have a sad slow "death," as it petals drop and the plant shrinks back down to the earth it came from - but it always comes back year after year. The better the care it has the stronger and more beautiful it is. Even with the smallest amount of care, just simply clearing the land it grows on, it will still come back beautiful as ever.
     So if you listen to a tulip and think about people, when given even just a little bit of love and compassion, people turn out alright. People who were shown love, direction, and compassion in life are  some of the most beautiful people and they usually share that with others. So grow your own tulip, show people love, kindness, compassion, or just lend a hand, you are helping to plant something beautiful in the world.
     The tallest trees will topple but when tulips topple, they always come back. Even when the world has got you down, even when things are terrible, remember there are good, beautiful people out there (and if you agree, you're probably one of them!), they help us come back from these terrible things that happen, they help spread love, and support others with kindness and direction.
     So when I think about tulips, I won't think about that sadness, I will think about how amazing they are because they spread their beauty and still come back after they have gotten down. I hope that when you now look at a tulip, you will be inspired to spread the goodness that is inside of us all. And like spring, it is never to late to come out from feeling bad about things and do something good for someone.

There is beauty inside us all! Spread kindness in the way that works best for you, take it from a tulip, spreading smiles is not all that hard :)