Suzanne Reisler Litwin: Little Hopes & Happies

The summer has definitely evaporated. If you know me well, you know I’m happy to see it go. I need cool air in my lungs to feel well. I have polar bear blood. I’m invigorated by cool temperatures and dampened by the heat.

Some people feel sad to see the leaves fall from the trees and the morning temperatures drop. Not me. I’m counting down the days to putting on my skis!

Believe me, I’m not looking forward to the extreme cold or ice covered streets and sidewalks. I just want those early December nights with gently falling sparkly snow. The calm mild snowy evenings of a white Christmas hope. Hope is what I seek.

You can find so much hope in nature. It’s actually all around us if you take the time to look for it or the time for it to find you.

On a brisk sunny morning as I took my sweet dog Bear for a walk, there was a thick layer of dew on the plump grass. The birds were singing and the squirrels were busy collecting as much food as they can in preparation for the winter. Breathing in the cool air excited me with the pending thought of skiing in a matter of weeks.

Breathe! I feel the cool air enter my lungs. Inhale! I can smell the moisture in the air. Taste! I can almost taste the snow on my tongue.

As I continued to walk, I thought about my winter to do list: Plant the spring bulbs, Cut back and tie up the bushes, put away the lawn furniture, cover the tables and delicate plants, put out the winter mats, and bunker down.

Then I thought about glory: Getting new cross country ski boots, waxing my skies, organizing my ski equipment, and purchasing advanced ski tickets. The glorious future plans after I’ve bunkered down.

By the time I completed all these to do lists in my head; I had finished our morning walk. As I was taking off Bear’s leash, I found a little perennial purple pansy looking at me. Hello Sue!

In the most unlikely place, at the base of my outdoor staircase along the paved driveway, was this beautiful flower. It was growing in a tiny spec of earth between the wood and pavement. It found the will to grow and be. Good Morning Sue!

I looked at it closely. It was perfect and so little. I had to photograph it. It was the loveliest little flower I had ever seen. It was a glimmer of hope which gave me happiness. Smile Sue!

As my day processed with errands, class preparation and an evening lecture, I thought about that flower. How the little purple pansy flower found a spec of earth to grow in managed to catch my attention. This flower found me.

My creative mind took flight. Does this flower represent determination, to be able to grow in such a small spec of earth between pavement and wood? Does the flower represent the holding on to summer, to be able to bloom with vigor in the morning cold? Does the flower present hope, that even with wood behind, pavement in front and no space to grow, it does so beautifully? Does the flower simply represent the rise of beauty in the midst of the unattractive? Does the flower represent a strong spirit for all those who fought up and through the grounds of despair?

I wonder?

The interpretation of this photo prompted hours of conversation with my family and friends. This image had so much representation and meaning for so many. I’m glad I took the photo.

A couple of days later, I took Bear on his morning walk. I quickly looked for the flower. The flower blossom was gone. The little plant was still there, but the blossom had finished and another was on the rise.

My continued thought was that I’m glad I was able to capture that photo when I did. In life, beauty does not last. Beauty comes and beauty goes. However, beauty does leave a lasting impression.

This flower has given me so much. I will remember it when the snow covers the backyard wooden steps and ice covers the pavement. I hope it will survive the winter and find me next spring or summer. I will look for its hope and happies.

Please share with us what this photo represents to you.

As nature provides us with so much hope and happiness, I hope you will find it or it will find you!

—Suzanne Reisler Litwin

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