My family is hopeful about a new beginning . We spent some time, at dinner, planning what we could plan and agreeing to surf the waves of this beginning as they occur. Smiling, fingers crossed, brows furrowed, hopeful.
A short time later, I walked through the Botanic Gardens, wet and steamy after rain showers. Sounds of Santana, playing at Ravinia just a few blocks away, wafted over the eastern gardens and tempted me to jive walk over the bridge and toward the water garden.
As I moved toward the greenhouses to see Spike, the Titan Arum, the mood of the garden was somber as if in mourning. We had all been waiting for weeks to smell Spike’s aroma as Spike’s spathe opened to invite pollinators. Word had just gone out a couple of hours before that Spike wouldn’t be “blooming,” and therefore aromatic, as expected. Disappointment was as palpable as Spike’s aroma had been purported to be. I walked through, curious and intent on attending to Spike as I had for weeks [Geek status revealed: sometimes twice a day], regardless of performance.
Moments later I walked past a wedding celebration: boisterous, effervescent, joyful! Glasses clinking, guests smiling and laughing; bride and groom captured in surprised joy that they were held closely by so many.
And on to the prairie, walking through long grass that whispered “shh, shh, shh” in response to cicadas and mosquitos. Soft contemplation as I walked alone attending to the vibrant life around me. Life that was not advertised and did not have an audience. Life that simply lived: busy, quiet, successful, strident, waning, passionate nonetheless.
A night full of examples of life’s terms. Predictably unpredictable. Life happening in so many ways for so many people all at the same time. Some Santana fans wet but unstoppable in their desire to hear the music while the artists were close at hand. [Others stayed home, unable to be there in the rain.] Garden Staff and visitors adapting to news that Spike would do what Spike does, not what folks thought Spike would do. Bride and groom, family and friends, celebrating joy in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. And the prairie: passionate in its vibrance, overlooked in its constant presence. And our new beginning, not here yet but so vibrant and visible in its preparation.
Loving on life’s terms is simple: love while Life does what it does. Life’s terms can be vibrant, boisterous, disappointing, solitary, overwhelming, fabulous, unpredictable, breathtaking, crushing, quiet, full of jazz fusion, Pharrell Williams and John Legend. And Change waiting to happen…