Friday, April 3, 2009


I could smell it right away! The air was wonderful when I walked outside in the sunshine after the four inches of torrential rain and the wind that rattled the rafters. Gone was the pollution, the dirt of winter, the staleness of a population caught in the closeness of winter’s grip, the atmospheric sameness. The air smelled so fresh, crisp, invigorating. The trees celebrated their cleansing by emitting a clean evergreen fragrance, and the dirt—oh that wonderful dirt smelled like promise of flowers, fresh garden vegetables, and bountiful crops. The smell that farmers all over the world, when they reach down to the earth, ball up a handful of that promise, sniff deeply and smile.

This makes me want to cleanse my inside world—clean my closets, scrub and paint, lay new flooring in the kitchen. When a spring snowstorm whistles by, cloudy, rainy, muddy, cold days keep me indoors, I clean. I renew.

Also there are days when I reflect. Can/should we cleanse the spirit within us on a seasonal basis? The process of soul-searching is defined as “a close and penetrating analysis of oneself, to determine one’s true motives and sentiments”. Oh yes, who among us could be helped by that process? Certainly, me. There must be ways to heal family rifts. Show more appreciation to friends and family that stand by me through life’s winter storms and summer rainbows, and even the ones that don’t. Leave the past where it belongs—in the past. Throw out the old and moldy tatters of by-gone sadness, anger and frustrations. Live like I may die tomorrow, or 40 years from now.

Can we all aspire to teach nonviolence, appreciate the good things in our lives, AND the bad things because from that we learn to appreciate what we have. May we see both the trees and the forest thus to see the beauty of the individual and the whole nation, alone or together.

Spring is a season to make a difference—within ourselves, in our own home, in our communities, and mankind.          Cleanse.           Renew.
LA Andersen

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