Waiting for Spring to arrive has been a challenge this year. February in much of the country brought us record cold, snows deepening, roofs dangerously loaded with snow and ice. I visited Sonnenberg Gardens’ Orchid show recently, and took in the warmth of the sun shining through the old Conservatory windows, relishing the greenery of the cacti and plants within. I took photos of carefully nurtured orchids — one can never have too many photos of orchids. Their delicate beauty in the rust-red pots delights me. I left the greenhouses to go back out, into the snows that pile up nearly to the windows, with a sense of refreshment. And I realize that I also have a sense of appreciation. Appreciation that someone took the time and effort to grow and nurture these blossoms to the beauty I was able to see. Appreciation that people care to nurture the Sonnenberg estate that was so loved by the Thompsons. Mary Clark Thompson travelled the world and brought the gardeners and trees, the birds and beauty of Sonnenberg together.
Appreciation comes in all sizes, and I sometimes forget that it’s often the littlest things that someone else does that mean so much. I might not ever see the hand that nurtures the rose bush, nor the hand that nurtures the person in the nursing home who cares for someone’s family member. Or the person who grows the vegetables I so casually pick up at the grocery store. I can think of so many more examples. But I must remember to be more conscious of those out there who can so often be unrecognized for their actions, big or small. Tragedies remind me of those who are first responders at the scene of an accident, or the people at the animal shelter who take care of a lost animal in hopes that the owners or a new forever home can be found. Who had to sew the clothes I throw on in the morning? I appreciate Nature’s gift of the sun this morning, melting away the snows of February and promising Spring, and I smile.