This is a beautiful time of year, when nature is sending forth its buds and new growth. The landscape becomes greener, and the air is filled with the song of birds returning from their winter home. Spring this year has been slow to develop. Winter has been slow to relinquish its grip on the area.
New growth can be subtle, and one has to pay attention in order to see it. The look of a plant can change from day to day during this time.
Shifts in weather conditions also provide a new look to things. One morning recently a heavy fog deposited mist and water droplets on the foliage. A close inspection of the leaves of my rose shrubs revealed nature’s jewelry, which lasted only until the day warmed up. Had I not been paying attention, I would have missed the show.
Paying attention is also part of the spiritual life: paying attention to the presence of God in the world around us; paying attention to our blessings; appreciating the small ways in which we experience the love of God and others. Pope Francis talks about the importance of little details in his apostolic exhortation, “On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.”
“A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan. There are times when, by a gift of the Lord’s love, we are granted, amid these little details, consoling experiences of God.” (#145)