The joy of simple things at Easter.

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.”

~Marianne Williamson

As someone who grew up in what most people would still call ‘the bush’, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how strong the connection to nature is when you live in tune with the cycles of the seasons and all they have to offer or take away.

Back in the day when winter routinely brought -40c winter temperatures and snowbanks over 5 feet high north of Prince George, the change of seasons occurred with a consistent abruptness one could count on. Long winter, short spring, even shorter summer, short fall, and another very long winter. We never had tulips in our garden – rhubarb was more coveted because you could eat it!

I learned very early in life that you need to appreciate what nature provides when it happens, because often it is all too fleeting and then… well, you blink and it’s gone. And while my parents concentrated on the essentials,to this day I make time to enjoy the fleeting moments unique to each season.

One fleeting moment happened today, at the Tulip Festival  in Agassiz, hosted by the Seabird Island Band, who I must say have incredible patience for even the most harried, entitled city dweller seeking the ultimate selfie. 🙂

Tulipsofthevalley.com is  a must for anyone seeking to rejuvenate the spirit after a long winter. It’s not the scent of fresh green grass on the drive there; it isn’t even how the weight of your daily life miraculously lifts off your shoulders on the drive( take the back route, via Maple Ridge on Hwy 7).

It’s how even after waiting in a line for the shuttle bus for nearly an hour-whining kids, irritated tourists,impatient city dwellers sporting Prada purses and 3 inch heels in full force in tow -that the second ones eyes see fields of colour in a way you can’t even imagine…cancels out of the ‘hardships’ you endured to get there.

Seriously, I felt like a young deer getting off the bus, kicking my heels and frolicking towards the fields.Leaping here and there, pink to red to yellow…There is no word for how I felt.

Yes, I did get in trouble once for venturing too far down one row…but in my defense I felt the need to bond with the flowers..lol.

The festival goes until the 12th of April- if you can,I highly recommend it and in my opinion, it is worth the drive and wait in line for the shuttle. I don’t often recommend things like this, but moments of sheer beauty so powerful, so all encompassing that even the most burly men can be found standing awe-struck, are an essential balance to busy lives.

I’ll post some tips in the comments, but I will leave you with this passage :

“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when awareness begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. (Don’t Hesitate)”
~Mary Oliver

Happy Easter my friends. For this moment, let us celebrate the small moments that soothe our tired or overworked souls. See the beauty right there before you,whether in your yard, a park, a jaunty dandelion in the sidewalk or in the scent of  the newly thrust, sappy leaves.And think about this.

We of many colours  rejoice as one, in the many colours of these flowers. There is so much joy to be shared in the smiles of every face. from many countries.

There is more that joins us, than separates us,and this is what makes these ordinary tulips, so extraordinary.

Go visit.

You won’t regret it.

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10 thoughts on “The joy of simple things at Easter.

      1. G. Barry Stewart

        Update. We put a smallish turkey in the oven and drove over there on Monday at about 3:30 — thinking that many didn’t have the day off and city folk would want to be heading home by then.

        Wrong! After waiting close to half an hour in line for the five Greyhound-style buses that were running, my wife foresaw a line-up for the trip back and a burned turkey, so we left.

        Next time, we’ll take bikes on the back of the car and skip the buses.

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        1. Laila

          Oh no….!!! Hence my warning above..lol… I do hope you get to see it though-try waking up early and heading out first thing! I’d love to see your pics too if you do get out there,I’m told the field changes as the tulips mature and open more.

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  1. nonconfidencevote

    Thats hilarious! I went to the LaConner Tulip festival last year and was thinking about driving down this year……You saved me the “Customs Shuffle”. I’ll check it out today!
    Thanks a bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Scotty on Denman

    Happy Easter to you, Laila; breath-taking pics!

    Surely we Canadians aren’t the only ones with the elemental bush gene, but I do feel quintessentially so sometimes with the bush out my back door but the general merchant and cafe out my front. We’ve oriented toward, and invested so much in hugging our southern border like it’s our only breathing hole in the floe. One can almost grossly typify our diversity by who’s never been to the (southern) city, yet is familiar with its artifice leagues into the northern vastness, the highway and store, church, schoolhouse and government agency; by who lives in southern towns and cities strung like beads across most of the nation, where halide-lit industry and celebrity are shadow cast on the brooding forest just behind; by who has never been out of the city and cherishes the public park, backyard garden or gaggle of weedy stems spreading cracked pavement in an urban alley; and finally by those who hardly any of us southerners know, who’ve never been to any city, who regard the puny artifice of civilization with indifference, who live permanently, generationally and generically beyond the hyperborean limit, in the melting ice world where no flower is anything but briefly in season. We are unified at least by knowing exactly what spring time is (here spare a thought for those who, aside from fading memory, now know Canadian winter only through glass).

    I think you describe the middle ones, the vast majority who, especially in the West, are still soul- connected to the bush; the visits, the memories and stories are so apropos to Easter—REFRESHING!

    Thanx again.

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  3. Laila

    Thank you everyone! Scotty- so true and eloquently written!

    Now for those tips:

    If you go, do pay for parking. It’s $10 cash, and the receipt entitles you to the free shuttle bus to the fields and back-if you park free along the highway, you’ll be hiking back and forth. It’s nearly three kilometres each way, so if you have elderly visitors or children,take that into consideration.

    There is also a very long wait during peak hours for the shuttle bus. It was about 40 mins in a line yesterday, but there is a soccer field right there to amuse little ones.

    Also, the fields are very muddy- there are paths covered with bark mulch on the outer edges, but if you want to get up close for pics, you need to have boots.

    I couldn’t believe how many women were surprised to find the field was muddy- they warn you on the site- and showed up in heels and expensive clothing as if dressed for an evening out, then complained to staff about the mud… sigh.

    It’s so spectacular. Seeing them in the sun, it felt like my eyes had been covered with blinders my entire life and it was the first time I ever saw colour.

    There is also a circle farm tour you can do in the area to purchase local good direct from the producers. Eggs, honey,chicken..

    Last tip, if you want to beat the crowds, aim to arrive early, right after opening, or later in the day. Definitely worth the drive and everything out in the valley is budding,blooming or otherwise putting on a lovely show!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I HAVE been sayin’………….and, if you’ll pardon the continued harassment, there is plenty more of that kind of wonder and beauty out here. Let ’em have the cement and the syringes, the taxes and the traffic, the crime and the slime, hie thee to a country village sister. Write from the middle of the fields of flowers rather than from the mean streets of greed and plunder. Happiness and joy is more than possible, it is the smorgasbord compared to the soup-line.

    Like

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