In this Uptown pocket neighborhood of Dallas’s Historic State Thomas District, the big live oaks still grow in yards, corners and along the manicured lawns of apartment buildings and the gated green spaces of the bricked townhouses that run through. They greet you when you’re out walking, their sprawling branches reaching out into the sunlight like old friends, their leaves shuttering in the wind and demanding attention, as if to say: “Hi, hello! Where’ve you been?” One of the reasons I love living here is because it’s so green, not something you think about when you think of Texas, but there are lush areas, and this is one of them. The oaks have been dormant though, through the cold, diffused days of winter; stripped down and barren they looked more like huge wooden ghosts or gnarled creatures out of a fantasy novel. But lately, this has all changed. Invigorated by recent Spring rains, these enduring Southern trees have blossomed into oversized umbrellas and will be a welcome respite when the temperatures top a hundred degrees.
Funny thing is, I can’t say precisely when all of this “greening” happened. I feel as if I just woke up one morning and there it was! I wasn’t aware of how busy the trees were ~ so much going on inside, so many things changing and growing at once. All it took was a good soaking from the high heavens to call them forth into their full potential.
People are like this too. There’s a lot going inside. Maybe it doesn’t show on the surface, but it’s there in all of us and maybe we only need a catalyst to nudge us forward, to help us shine. Sometimes we meet an earth angel who shows us the light, a friend who hands us the right book to read, a stranger who speaks the brief words we need to hear at just the right moment. Sometimes we’re the catalyst for others ~ time we spent with a child that they will never forget, the camera or guitar we handed them on their birthday that changed their life, the friend we took with us to the meeting … I could go on and on but, I think you can fill in your own blanks.
While not all change happens fast, I think the promising message of Spring is that it can. Circumstances can take a turn for the better at any moment in time. There is real promise all around us. One night it’s bleak and plain when we close our eyes and in the morning as we rumble out of bed and throw open the curtains, voila, the world is green! There is color and sunshine, movement and light … there is great hope.