Marji and I are in the Squaw Creek Park outside the small town of Marion, Iowa. Spring is just beginning to make a statement. We are finally seeing the tulips show their faces and people are popping up on the walking trails that have finally warmed from the snow. We even have a pair of chubby robins trying to build a nest of string, straw and mud over the attachment of our deck light under the overhang. When we left home the nest was tottering precariously on the unstable foundation, but the egg-laden mamma didn’t seem to worry. It was the first warm day when we were free and could go to the park to read and enjoy the fresh air. The park employees had decided to do a prairie burn so we selected a picnic table just far enough away from the burn to catch an occasional whiff. Campfires or prairie burns are renewing to both of us in a strange way. The trick is to get close enough to smell it, but far enough away to not get the odor into your clothes fabric.
As I read the opening pages of The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young,an interesting novel about spirituality, Marji got up and walked behind me. I wasn’t really aware of the time she was gone. She returned with a bouquet of three dandelions, one blue violet and three blue and white violets. Violets are such tender flowers they always invoke my emotions. Here I am 63 and it is one of the first time I ever remember receiving flowers. My heart warmed. Then, I thanked and kissed Marji. She sat back down and was soon lost in her book. I breathed in the joy of that moment. The words of “You Don’t Sing Me Flowers Anymore” tried to darken the moment, but then I held my flowers a little tighter and smiled at Marji, and she glanced up just long enough to catch my free gift to her.