Since the magnolias last bloomed

My favorite magnolia tree is in full bloom right now. I pause any time I’m in front of the house to stare at it. I snap pictures after my run. Last night I fed the baby while sitting on the front staircase, looking out the foyer window at the gorgeous pink blossoms. It wasn’t a terribly comfortable perch, but it’s the house’s best view. I know these blooms last just a few days, and so I want to pause to savor them.

As flowering trees do, the magnolia blooms every year around this time. I decided to look back through my photos to see the peak blossoms from 2019. We appear to be slightly earlier this year; last year the photos peaked from April 9-11. I looked through the photos to see this old friend — similar to this year’s photo, though with a few small changes, just as old friends might show too.

It got me thinking about the time since the magnolias last bloomed. Just a year ago, as my yard filled with pink flowers, I did not know that I’d have this sweet 14-week-old baby in my arms (when you’re 40, nothing is guaranteed). Of course I also did not know that we’d be locked down in this house with school canceled for weeks as the world tried to battle a virus that probably did not exist at the time.

It is a reminder of what things stay the same and how much things can change too, in ways we can be happy about and in ways we would not have wished. This is the bittersweet nature of life. It makes me wonder what life will be like when these flowers bloom again a year from now — as I look back on these photos. Some things we can imagine, and some are impossible to know. But these 8760 hours, more or less, will be filled with something. That is the nature of time.

In other news: My friend Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The Money Tree, will be out next week. It’s a fable (in the same genre as Juliet’s School of Possibilities!) about a broke and unhappy young man who learns that he has more resources, and more control over his life, than he thinks. Chris normally does extensive book tours, but since that’s not happening these days, he’s doing a virtual class on Creative Live that streams for free on April 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific. If you listen to his Side Hustle School podcast, you know he’s really entertaining, so please check it out!

In other other news: I had my first op-ed in the Washington Post this week! I try to answer the question: “We have a lot more time now. So why can’t we get anything done?

8 thoughts on “Since the magnolias last bloomed

  1. What a gorgeous tree! Thanks for sharing. I’m impatient for my daffodils and hyacinths to start blooming – the first of the spring blooming plants in our landscaping.

  2. I am so grateful that you introduced me to the relationship between “I don’t have time” and “It’s not a priority.” I bought and hoarded resources for years to try and learn French before I realized learning another language was a romantic fantasy, but not something that was truly a priority that I was willing to commit to. I donated all the books and unsubscribed from podcasts and email lists and focused on other priorities. It was as if a huge weight lifted off my shoulders!!

    1. @Amy – so glad you lifted that weight! There’s plenty of time to do what we want to do, but not to carry around burdens for things we don’t want to do.

  3. HI Laura, such a beautiful tree! We used to have a magnolia tree in our backyard in our old house, but we moved couple of years ago, and i really miss it! Your’s reminded me to get out to the park and search for some magnolia trees to replicate that joy!
    On an unrelated note, are you planning to continue your special Tranquility by Tuesday posts? Those were my favorite!! Are they coming back any time soon?

  4. Your tree is so gorgeous. My grandmother, who is in her 90’s, and still lives alone in a big old house, has a huge magnolia as well. When I talked with her last time she said she was pretty bored and missing her usual outings, but was enjoying her lovely tree. Thanks for reminding us to stop and savor these things that are so fleeting.

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