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FLOWERING FOCUS 

FLOWERING FOCUS 

I awoke at sunrise to slip out the door with my gloves, sheers, and bucket of water. The summer temperatures on the 1st of April meant I didn’t have a day to lose. One Monday morning each spring my co-workers walk into the office to the sweet scent of newly cut lilac blooms filling the air, and today was the day. 

  I had a sense of purpose. I remembered the many years my small act                 

made others smile and me joy filled. No matter how long my to-do list,         

today this was at the top.  

Spring 2012 

Not unlike those words written a decade ago, on Monday my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m., ensuring my early arrival. My secret lilac bush, untouched by others, awaited me in the predawn darkness of the alley. I gave a small gasp upon seeing the abundance of small lavender clusters. This was a good year. 

I begin my happy task. I cut carefully in places I hope will ensure my harvest won’t diminish the enjoyment of the rare passerby.  I compliment the bush on its beauty.  

I’d always gathered this abundance in April, but this year there were no blossoms until May. I think about how all things once predictably seasonable are now uncertain.  My mind travels to the cataclysmic consequences of climate change.  

Focus on the flower in front of you, I remind myself.  

I step cautiously near the cliff where this miracle of loveliness grows. I reach above my head for the next plentiful bough.  With a crack the branch breaks before its close enough to clip. I apologize, feeling a slight pang in my heart for having hurt the one I hadn’t seen for a year. 

Focus on the flower in front of you. 

I turn to place the raw end in my red plastic bucket. At the grass near my feet, I spot a black high-top shoe lying on its side. Evidence perhaps of a person without housing having rested here. My mind jumps to our city’s housing shortage.  

Focus on the flower in front of you. 

I lean my face into the bush. I inhale the sweetness, closing my eyes. 

“Good morning,” I hear.  

I turn to see a man with a backpack walking around my car which has blocked his path.  

“Good morning,” I reply.  “Would you like a flower?”  

Without waiting for his reply I step toward him offering a stem with three lovely blooms. His right hand already holding his coffee, he accepts with a wide smile. “I’ll take it with me,” he says, and keeps walking. 

Focus on the flower in front of you. 

Coach Koenig 

What joys of spring can you discover? 

How do you return to your intended focus? 

What is before you to appreciate right now? 

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