I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple
SPRING 2015—Once again, I am a caregiver.
Full Time: Surgery, dressing slowly, assisting first steps, hauling out the crutches, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, sitting too many long hours in waiting rooms.
Life is focused.
But, feelings scatter and drain after a bitter, brittle gray winter.
All looks dead! Will life come back?
A caregiver’s eyes are trained to watch, search the ground, wherever we go, watching for signs of—
And as we scan the earth, the truth surprises us: It’s spring.
The grave of winter bursts in colors—all at once—mint green, porcelain white,
precious pink, radiant red, yummy yellow.
When all seems dead and lost—
The earth gives back such a lavish lavender.
Just pours it out.
Where do I go, when the day is long, to find solace, strength, patience, hope, joy?
I like to walk out in spring.
So many of us have done that—just walked out into the world.
Whitman stepped out as he mourned the loss of his Captain 150 years ago—
and found the lilacs blooming in his dooryard once again.
Walker went with her favorite character—
and found that purple, too.
Where did I find it?
On the old bridge, a patch of oh so lavender wild geraniums.
I bathe in purple.
God’s good earth gives back to me, to all of us who walk out into the world and watch.
And then I can turn again to the day’s task—
Life lived with purpose: Love, gratitude, care.
And, where do you walk out and let your eyes scan the earth?
Where do you find it?
BENJAMIN PRATT has worked for decades as a counselor. He is the author of three books and has contributed to other inspiring books, as well. You are welcome to share this column with friends—you can print it or even repost it, if you wish to spark conversations. If you’d like to enjoy Walt Whitman’s verse, we have his When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, as well.