Growing Up In Louisiana
Growing up in Louisiana, springtime was always beautiful. And although our family loves central Mexico, this is the time of year I most miss the beauty of the southern U.S. I miss the dogwoods and the wisteria, and the beautiful azaleas. I miss having new Easter dresses for my daughters, and attending Easter egg hunts. I miss the sunrise service near the river. I miss the freshness of spring – the cool weather, the bright green as the trees put on their new tresses, the dampness of the morning dew. Here in Mexico, it is dry and dusty, and already up in the 80’s each day. I long to hear the mockingbird and cardinals and finches, but the only bird I hear is the unpleasant squawk of my neighbor’s parrot. My tiny “garden,” as my yard is called, is hardly big enough for a few chairs and a hammock, and is surrounded by walls on all sides. I miss the quiet times with God with the beauty of Southern springtime mornings– something about that time of year, always giving me new resolve in my relationship with God.
Twice a year, there is an influx of beauty here among the dust and dirt. Once, in the summer, when the bougainvillea are in full bloom, and are incredible, and also this time of year, when a certain type of tree, called the jacaranda, blossoms all over town for a few brief weeks each spring, covered with beautiful lavender flowers.
Earlier this week, our family of six decided to take a walk through our neighborhood to get an ice cream treat at the local “tienda.” It was the end of the day, and the stares annoyed me more than usual, as our very blonde daughters always attract a lot of attention, but when I have all three, it is all people can do to look away. We were coming home from our trek when my husband gasped, “Look!” There it was, and it was beautiful.
Over the dirty graffiti tainted store, above the mountains, was an incredible purple sunset, with the beautiful lavender trees silhouetted against it. It was breathtaking beauty. If you’ve ever experienced a sunset or sunrise that just overwhelmed you with the presence of God, you know exactly what I mean. It was a gift. A beautiful gift of nature and of God himself, reminding me that he is here, and cares about the heart of a country girl from Louisiana, slightly displaced.