Spring in the Hill Country is almost always beautiful; this year it is spectacular. The rain finally came back and wildflowers are proliferating everywhere. Some fields are so thick with bluebonnets they create an illusion of a small lake. Locals and tourists both are out in droves to drink up the sights. Friends are remarking over and over how glad they are for the flowers to return so strongly after the drought last year.
While others smile joyously, I find myself holding back from the excitement. Yes, I look for and point out flowers, but something in me hesitates from completely abandoning myself to the intensity of their beauty. It was only yesterday that I put my finger on it. It’s the drought of last year. I still think about the drought, even as I look at these fields in bloom.
It was a really bad drought, lasting for fifteen months. Cattle died, trees died, fields turned to dirt – even grassy parks in town turned to dirt. Towns nearby went within days of running out of water, while towns farther off actually ran out. Entire lakes and rivers dried up. Foundations cracked. Technically, we are still in a drought with stage 4 water restrictions still in place. Though good rains have come since December, we have not replenished our aquifers much at all.
I hesitate to fall fully into the joy of this beautiful wildflower picture, as if doing so might jinx our good fortune of the last few months. Silly, yes, yet there it is, like feeling you have to be careful when someone offers you a deal too good to be true. I’ve been looking at this magnificent display of color and wonder with an eye out for the drought that might be lurking just behind it. There is no con man in the background. There is only color and beauty and now.
Sometimes just recognizing a fear creates enough power to set it aside. That’s the case with me and the wildflowers. Once I realized what was holding me back from enjoying them, I could let it go. So I did, and spent the afternoon driving around my neighborhood and nearby country lanes looking for wildflowers.
What keeps you from being fully present with beauty in your life?
Tonight, my husband and I hike Enchanted Rock State Park, which is sure to be loaded with flowers and trickling water. I’m going to be in the middle of one of the most beautiful scenes ever made and can’t wait to enjoy it all. Maybe I’ll see you out there, letting go of fear and falling with complete abandon into beauty.