It’s spring, and here in the Sonoran Desert, flowers are bursting forth all around. On my morning walks, I’m taking photo after photo of bright, beautiful blossoms. I want to share them all on Instagram, but I realize so many of the stunning blossoms look the same as last year’s, and the year before…it seems I’m in a springtime rut.

How might I handle such a tendency toward beautiful repetition? I’ve pondered this in the past. One year, I focused on the point of flowers, using images that zoomed in on the center of one image in exquisite detail. Another year, I took a broader view and pondered the long blooming season we have here in the desert. I’ve shared flower photos from particular perspectives and even when they’re no longer beautiful.

This issue with repetition is particularly challenging for me because I’ve now lived in the same neighborhood for over eight years, which is the longest I’ve lived in one place since I left home for college! I guess I’ve become accustomed to changing locations and being able to explore new territories with some frequency. Yet I know there are many people who lived for decades in the same place. I wonder if they felt this sense of beautiful repetition each spring….

Certainly, there are recurring seasons in our lives that we frequently commemorate with similar photos. Each year, many people bring out the same Christmas tree or Chanukah menorah, and the pictures probably look very similar to last year’s, and the year before. Each year, we celebrate (or at least commemorate) a birthday. It might be a different number, but it’s the same day and the same person being celebrated, although science tells us that billions of our cells have been replaced since we last had a birthday—so we aren’t really the same person after all!

Perhaps the point of acknowledging repetition is recognizing that there are gifts in each season of our lives. Many may seem similar, but they are not identical because we have changed. Perhaps you will look at one of the repetitious flowers I share on Instagram this week and realize you’ve never seen it before, either because you’re new to social media or it didn’t come across your feed last time. Perhaps you’ll recognize an image, but it will have a different impact on you because your life experience or perspective has shifted in the intervening years.

So, this week I will share this year’s versions of similar stunning flowers. The millions of cells in the flowers are different this year, yet they are the same springtime gift from a generous Creator. Please let me know what you think of this beautiful repetition!

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