Dare I say Spring has arrived? I hesitate making that statement, knowing full well I live in the Oklahoma Panhandle - a place where weather has its own agenda. But I believe in the adage, “April showers bring May flowers”; thus I will rejoice in the reawakening of our world! I know there are several of you who don't really appreciate one of the “signs” of Spring - the noisy arrival of the somewhat irritating and raucous black bird called the Grackle. Swooping in from wherever they winter, this bird joins the club - sparrows, doves, finches, robins - and seems to say, “Let's party, guys!” The grackle becomes my alarm clock, cawing at the break of dawn and screeching, chirping and chortling right on through the day. And they are hilarious when they begin their mating ritual (I guess that's what they are doing), strutting, dipping and dancing around each other. I know in today's world talking about our feathered friends immediately brings to mind the threat of bird flu, but for this day, for this Spring, I will smile and appreciate the grackle and the other birds that dare to fly and live and preen and happily announce the changing of the seasons.
This year's gardening and planting season will begin differently than any of my life - because we no longer have Gunther Brandt's greenhouse. Long before Gunther built the business on East Main, he had a greenhouse connected to the family home. I remember this fact quite well, because every Spring Mom would drag us kids down to Gunther's in search of geraniums, petunias and other green plants. I remember a sliding door between the house and the greenhouse and I was always intrigued by the set-up. The smell of new plants, wet dirt and potting soil, earthy and aromatic, hung in the air and the humidity made our hands sticky and dampened our hair. It was a neat place, a beginning. Gunther's business grew, then moved to its final destination, and we were blessed for many years with the ability to drive a few blocks and purchase trees, cacti, bushes and flowers. And along with the pansies, we would have a chat with Gunther. He could be quite entertaining and informative, sometimes gruff, but always ready to answer our questions and offer suggestions. He knew what he was talking about, and his love for flora of all kinds was evident by the sparkle in his eye when he expounded on the varieties and virtues of his plants. Do you realize the landscape of this town and county was truly altered because of this one man and his hard work? I'd say that is quite a legacy - and I will think of Gunther when I turn the soil and try to remember the difference between “perennial” and “annual”.
According to a story I heard, there was a guy who bagged groceries for a living. One day he decided he would write down positive messages on pieces of paper and insert one in each costumer's grocery sack. This one small act went on to change the character of the whole town. The preacher telling the story then informed the congregation that each of them (and us) was a “bag carrier”. Each day, with each encounter, we give messages to one another, messages that either harm or help, lift up or tear down, gladden or sadden the heart. We slip them in the bag and merrily go on with our lives, not really wondering or realizing how they are received or felt. And with each message we alter the lives and change the character of those we love, those we barely know, and even the world around us. Do we dare to become like that guy, that bag carrier, and intentionally place positive messages in one another's “grocery sack”, thus changing the character of an entire town one message at a time? I dare to believe we can!
Boise City News