Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Dear Friends

I've just returned from a short stay in Mexico where I head every year around this time to hang out at the beach, make some headway into my stack of books, eat well and only when I feel like it, and not set the alarm clock. By my standards, I do a pretty good job of being a slug while I'm there, and I spend as much time outside as possible.

The beach backs up to a desert, a landscape that I find enchanting, and so my daily walks are slower than usual, allowing me to take it all in -- or try to, anyway. Even so, though I'd walked the same trail a number of times and thought I was familiar with its flora and the various creatures frequenting the area, when a friend who lives there asked me if I'd seen the hummingbird nests, I was taken aback. No, I hadn't. I didn't even believe him at first because I couldn't imagine how I'd missed them. So he told me where to look for them on my next walk, but I returned still insisting that they weren't there. Long story short, he came with me on my next hike and, sure enough, pointed out three nests. Incredibly tiny, expertly camouflaged, awesomely constructed, each nest held eggs smaller than the tiniest of navy beans.

My first thought was how crazy it was that I'd missed the nests in the first place, let alone after he told me where to find them! After all, my walks were meandering, my intention was to be in the moment, and I was in just about my favorite place. But my second thought was how easy it is for so much of what goes on in nature to escape us and how we become more and more disconnected from the natural world in the process. Or maybe it's the other way around. Or maybe it's both.

Spring is a season teeming with new life and with its own unique character. There are real strawberries, not the ones grown on the other side of the world, bred purely to travel well. Daffodils pop up in someone's garden a few miles away and are sold at the local farmers' market. On spring evenings, we can be outside for the first time in months without a jacket. We may even pass three tiny hummingbird nests on our walks, even if we don't see them. May we all discover some of the gifts of spring this year. Perhaps a good way to do this is to first assume that the gifts are there, which of course they are, and then open ourselves to the fresh possibilities.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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