By Stephanie Gordon, Becketwood Member
These opening days of springtime, 2020, tease us. Bright sun over Becketwood grounds invites us outside for observation and a shot of fresh air. We live on third floor, west, and it’s one thing to observe the breadth of our grounds from the windows, and a very different thing to walk the grounds, and feel the oozing earth below our feet, as the grass and frozen dirt wake up. Mud and slush are evident.
Yesterday was one of those high points, because I went outside in mid-afternoon and felt one with the awakening of our beautiful oasis in South Minneapolis. A vivid blue sky overhead, a sun filtering down between the naked trees, purple crocus blooming in the shadow of a building wall on the west side of the building, bird songs in the distance, the lonely picnic table always inviting, and the backyard swing facing out toward the north side of the backyard, wishing someone would come for a little breezy motion.
As I walked the stiff ground I spied my first real sign of spring, a nice robin, sitting on the ground, right in the middle of a circle of eight of our backyard trees. He looked a little less perky than a nice fat robin who has just eaten a delicious lunch of a worm, but his breast was an orangey/red hue and he was certainly alert and in command. I stood there watching him and he was the Master of Ceremonies for the trees he was about to address. I didn’t stay for the oratory, but it appeared he would soon awaken the assembled trees in song.
On I walked, unlocking the fence gate facing 46th Avenue, and then I walked up to our Little Becketwood Library. Inside were a good selection of books, and a Lund’s and Byerly’s jar of peanut butter. I did not open the door to look and see what was actually in the jar. Peanut butter was not evident at the top, so I have no idea what the jar was all about. All I know is I didn’t leave the Library door ajar to find out! I have read in the newspaper about some grocery products being left in the Little Libraries around town, but this I felt was not akin to a sampling such as I have seen in newspaper pictures.
On I walked, up the sidewalk by the north parking lot, and back home, into Becketwood. It had felt so refreshing, out in the springtime air, where life is pretty quiet these days—few cars or bikers on the neighborhood streets, few runners on the city sidewalks. There was no trace of wind, no schoolchildren running the track at Minnehaha Lower Campus. Children are home, learning how to manage their lessons online, while the neighborhood remains shuttered because of the coronavirus.
Spring has quite a different feel on the cusp of April showers 2020. The natural stage is set for leaves to green our world, baby animals to be born, worms to inch across the sidewalk and flowers to pop into bloom, yet life for humans, and animals too, brings an air of caution in huge doses as humanity faces the scourge of coronavirus all over the world in springtime 2020. We all have great responsibility to each other, our place of shelter, our communities. We have much to be thankful for, living here in Becketwood. Each of us is awakened in a much more urgent sense this spring as we venture first of all to help each other stay well, stay safe and stay alert, just like the first robin I saw yesterday. He is encircled by his friends, the mighty trees, as we are encircled by much goodness, and hard-working people trying to keep us each safe, full of gratitude for the constant, the return of yet another springtime to fill our winter worn spirits with abundant health and seasonal renewal.