Letter from the Director – May 2024

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Spring Flowers in the RWC Garden

“The Earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I spent a lot of time in the garden this week. Yes, the growth was robust. Yes, the flowers were exploding in color and texture. The stretch of beauty was like an overdose for the eyes. It was lovely. I stood in the center, turned my body slowly in a circle, and felt. . . overwhelmed.

I looked at the weeds and the work. Both seemed daunting. The more it rained, the more things grew, and the more I wondered how to get all the work done. The joy of the garden was replaced by the sobering reality that I didn’t have enough time to do all that needed doing.

My mother always told me I think too much. 

I saw the reality of the situation, and my understanding was unclouded. Sometimes, pragmatism is a sort of curse, robbing you of the joy a single moment could hold, focusing on the chore instead of the charm. I thought of all that as I tried to decide which section to dive into first. And then, I stopped.

My eye caught a vibrant deep purple color tucked into the wisteria vine. I knew instantly that the shade of color didn’t belong there, or at least it hadn’t been there in years past. I investigated and found a clematis vine carefully growing between the unflappable limbs of the 20-plus-year-old wisteria. The clematis seemed delicate, almost like a whisper, a secret that only I knew. I needed that gift. I needed to find something tender and serene in the bold, blunt extravagance of a garden gone rogue. It made me smile. It made me laugh.

The audacity! A small sweetness amidst the savory! A single clear tone within jumbled noise. It felt like a lesson I was supposed to learn right then and there. If I let the dark tug of responsibilities make me a dissatisfied drifter rejecting joy, then I’ve missed the point of spring. Nature says laugh! Nature says Enjoy! 

There are times my serious side overshadows my joyful side. There are times responsibility trumps frivolity. But, I hope I never turn my back on the reminders the universe tosses my way – to overlook the weeds in this complicated life and sometimes focus on the blooms. Enchantment comes as a small touch of purple peeking out from a tangle of green. Don’t miss it.