Greener BeeGreen HolidaysTalk to Iris: Holidays mark the season of renewal

With the first irises in bloom and our lush Maryland trees filling out, we usher in spring, a season of color and renewal. As Passover melds into Easter, holidays that celebrate spiritual rebirth and hope rising we are poignantly aware of the fleeting beauty of blossoms and how time spins by in a finger-snap.

We are noticing that our children have sprouted, as are a few more wrinkles on our faces. We realize that some of us are moving slower, while others are still moving too fast.

The coming of spring reminds us that this year is almost half over, this when it seems like only yesterday we were making our resolutions for the New Year. We are reminded to be grateful for this moment, for our health, for the health of our loved ones, and to reach out to our less fortunate friends and family.

Spring’s glorious arrival gives us another opportunity to stop, and literally smell the roses, to take stock of who we are right now, and how we want to unfold during the coming months. Like plants, people, too, can grow better and stronger and more inspired under the sun, bathed in warm temperatures, romping free outdoors.

I only have to look at a cluster of newly sprouted irises to be filled with the spirit of my deceases parents. They used to tell me the flower was named after me – and not the other way around.

Fall and winter and December madness bring on a heavier cloak of memories and leaden, back-to-work emotions, Spring releases us to lighten up, to will ourselves into mindfulness of the temporary beauty that surrounds us.

We find more ease in letting go of weighty thoughts. We can “Be Here Now,” the title of Baba Ram Dass’ iconic Buddhist bible of the 1970s, instead of whirling in worries of Be Where When?

The seasons of nature are temporary, like the passing seasons of our lives. Knowing this should slow us down, to inhale and savor these flowers that are soon to be brimming in May baskets.

Today, I am on the back porch reveling in the breeze of a 65-degree April morning. Cardinals peck at the feeder and a lone paddle boarder skims across the Severn River. Herbs are freshly planted in pots along the kitchen window, sprigs of rosemary and sage and thyme that will grow throughout spring and summer, like we will.

Some of the trees are still bare but the buds are bursting, and soon our come will by embraced by thick cushion of green, comforting and glorious. And as poet Robert Browning wrote in his ode to the season, “all is right with the world”:

From Pippa’s Song in “Pippa Passes” by Robert Browning (1812-1889):

“The year’s at the spring,

And day’s at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;

The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in His heaven—

All’s right with the world!”

Iris would love to hear your stories. Email her at

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