The Forsythia

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The forsythia blossoms open
in a brilliant gold we haven’t seen since last year.
I notice the shape the two large shrubs make in the world.
It is a lopsided, arching sort of shape
cut to make room for the babes to run into
and hide and giggle and squabble and babble beneath.

We try to make the top and sides flat and square
while keeping the middle rounded, a comforting
nook, half tunnel, half cave.

Every Spring I judge the spindly branches protruding from the front, back, top, and sides and think,
“We’ve not done very well.”

This year I’m deciding to observe
how lovely the center is, notched out and smooth.
The branches staying back and keeping the space sacred for the children to play in.

This year I’m deciding to remember that during pruning time each season
we have a little one pulling at our pant legs crying,
or one we are chasing away from the extension cord,
or one we are teaching how to steady the ladder
while we are trying to stay calm and not swear.

It seems we have sacrificed perfection for play,
tension for tranquility,
stress for serenity.
I am not sad to see the imperfection,
but rather, bolstered to find
that even in some tiny way,
we have loved well.

I look forward to finding how the forsythia look in the Fall
and next Spring. I hope to find them
more lopsided
more silly
more wild.

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