What is a Big Deal in your life right now? I remember when the kids were much younger, birthdays were a Big Deal—even half-birthdays were big! My brother- and sister-in-laws will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this summer—that’s a really Big Deal! Grandchildren are a Big Deal to our friends who have welcomed another generation into their families. A health crisis is an all-consuming, scary Big Deal in one’s life. Graduating from college, starting a new job, getting married, having a baby—all are Big Deals in the lives of the people involved and to concentric circles of loved ones and friends who care for them.
I know that nearly everyone loves Spring, but here in Minnesota, Spring is a pretty Big Deal! We’ve had another fairly ‘easy’ winter in terms of snow and cold, but there is a collective ‘Hallelujah’ being raised up nonetheless, even if it is in a Minnesota nice and stoically quiet way!
This is the third year in a row that we have been snow free on the Spring Equinox—the two years before that we still had snow up to our knees. So in those terms, we are way ahead of the game. But besides a few green blades of grass (and wild strawberries) and some swollen tree buds, it doesn’t look very much like spring out there yet.
It doesn’t really matter though—we know it’s coming—the calendar told us so! The thing that makes Spring so sweet is going through the ‘hardship’ or work of winter. Snow shoveling, walking and driving on snow and ice, the daily chore of bundling up in boots, heavy coats, hats, and mittens, keeping the house at a cozy temperature, and daily walks with the frigid north wind are the realities of Winter—neither good nor bad. But Spring, as it unfolds, is a relief from all those things. On Friday, even though I was still bundled against the cold and wind, I saw and heard a choir of Robins flitting joyfully about in the neighbor’s yard! That’s a Big Deal!
Big Deals is people’s lives are often milestones of time and effort put into an event that is dear to someone’s heart. Other Big Deals—like birthdays and babies—are celebrations of absolute gifts we are blessed to experience. Yet others are heart-breaking moments that threaten our lives, livelihoods, and purpose. The common denominator seems to be the heart—what we hold dear, what we work hard to preserve, what means the most to us, what gives us joy.
My Big Deal today is celebrating three years of taking photographs and writing messages for my NorthStarNature blog. I have published 206 posts with thousands of photographs in those three years! It has been an experience of the heart : to showcase the incredible beauty of Nature, to share parts of my life story in an attempt to connect us with our world and with one another, to examine how Nature can teach us about Life, and a way for me to contribute in some way to the greater Good. Every time I go out into Nature with the camera, looking for the Beauties and the Gifts, I become just another one of Her creations in that whole Circle of Life. My body is calmed, and my spirit is lifted. Writing this blog has unmuted my voice. It has gotten this shy wallflower out into the dance of the world a bit—the cyber-world, no less! I want to thank you for joining me on this journey—I appreciate you reading and sharing my words and photographs. Blessings and Goodness to you all!