Spring Break Brings Spring RenewalDina Saalisi
April is the Time When Schools Take Spring Break and Families Frolic
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Last week was my 11-year old daughter’s spring break from middle school. When she asked me what we had planned for her spring break, I replied, “You don’t have to go to school. Isn’t that enough?” She wasn’t happy with my response (or the fact that I was working all week), and argued that spending time together as a family was what she wanted to do. My thoughts ran to: “I am so busy with work; I couldn’t possibly take a vacation…” After much provocation on her part, I gave in, cleared my book and made plans to drive down to the California desert.
I love road trips and this was the perfect time of year to get in the car and go.
The wisdom of my young daughter reminded me of something very important
Spring is a time of renewal; a season of fresh starts after the long, introspective winter. Spring Break is a chance to relax into the splendor that surrounds us and give into the magnificence of Nature. It is an opportunity to water the seeds we have planted within ourselves so that we may blossom and flourish. This is a continual cycle of life’s garden that requires tending. To learn to dance to our own joyful rhythm is the ongoing practice.
Destination: Anza Borrego Desert Park
For Spring Break, we went to witness the Superbloom phenomenon of 2017! For the past several years, California experienced severe drought conditions, leaving the landscape parched and bare. Last winter we were blessed with an abundance of rain, resulting in the showiest, most prolific flower blooms in over 20 years. We had 48 whopping hours to relish in this floral sensation.
Waking to the sunrise, we headed over to Anza Borrego Desert Park. We decided to take the 3 mile round trip Palm Canyon trail; a gentle, steady, up-canyon hike leading to a palm tree filled oasis. My family endured as I stopped nearly every 5 feet to observe each dazzling blossom along the way.
Many of these flowers are so tiny that I had to get down on the desert floor and use a macro lens to view them. I was truly awed by the variety of this opulent desert display. One of my “goals” was to spot the elusive Ghost Flower. As I was communing with some cactus blooms along the path, my daughter exclaimed: “I think I found the ghost flower!” There it was, ghostly white with speckled center, hiding in the shade of a rock. I knelt and let it’s magical presence haunt me.
Cactus Blooms Everywhere
During our 4 hour hike, we met with Desert Willow with its abundance of fragrant blossoms, glowing orange Desert Primrose, a multitude of cactus flowers magenta and bright green, giant Ocotillos as far as the eye could see and much more. The desert was teeming with life; beetles with intricate patterns scurrying about, industrious bees buzzing along collecting pollen and a desert iguana feeding on leaves for lunch.
We trekked onward over rocky inclines, and finally made it to the spectacular palm oasis. We entered into the cool, shady respite of giant palms and were taken by surprise at seeing a family there that we know from back home in Santa Cruz. They were looking intently up at the hillside and pointed out 2 big horn sheep grazing on a rock. The mom told us that she had been waiting 15 years to see big horn sheep and she decided on this trip that she was going to see them. I felt gratitude in sharing in the manifestation of her wish. After munching on apples and resting for about ½ an hour, we decided to head back down the trail before the impending desert heat reached it’s peak.
As we descended the rocks in the 90-degree heat, we came upon a waterfall with a clear, shallow pool. My daughter and husband stripped down and waded into this crystal bath. I rolled up my pants and splashed around, feeling the restorative quality of this place. Looking down, I spotted a mama and baby frog at my feet, playfully floating along and laughed at their silly game and realized that they were showing me that play is an essential part of life.
The Importance of Play
To be able to give into the essence of doing something just for the sake of fun is a lesson I’ve been tested with my entire life. Here I was in the midst of it, with no choice but to allow for the flow of joy. Then it struck me…Rock Water! This is the only Bach flower essence that is not a flower. Originally, Dr. Bach captured the flowing water from an unadulterated spring in the rural English countryside. The remedy still comes from this very spring. The essence is used to help balance rigidity and fixed ideas about life. It is helpful for those of us who push ourselves and tend to over-work.
Often I use it with clients to assist in helping them to open to joy and wonder and to impart a flow of relaxation. And here I was, frisking in the cool waters without an agenda and allowing the bliss to wash over me. Indeed, nature heals.
Dusty and damp, we made it back to the car safely, with a new sense of being; our souls renewed by the magic of springtime. My daughter didn’t complain once (quite an accomplishment for a middle-schooler). And now I can say that I have a complete understanding of the meaning and importance of spring break.