Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…

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In full Selma.

I don’t know where I heard the name before, but when I saw her — this little stuffed duck that my mother gave to me for Easter — I knew her name was Selma. She was the brightest yellow I had ever held in the palm of my hand. In the palm of my heart.

It was years later, perhaps well beyond what some might call my “stuffed animal” years, (but maybe with your own mother, you never outgrow them), that she gave me a squishily wrapped Easter present. It was Selma. And not just Selma for me, my mom called her by name as well. The original duck? No. The original love? Indeed. I guess that never changes. 

I name the trees in our yard now. The plants in our house. I have always thought when love blooms so beautifully, it deserves a name. I’d like to think that they are all in on it — as nature blossoms in bright Selma all around me. Maybe that’s what Easter is — at least it is for me — a love that continues to bloom and bloom, forever in the palm of my heart.

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Full bloom.

I know we could have purchased tulips, but they brought these to us, from Amsterdam. Native tulip bulbs. Spectacular. We dug little rows in the ground with the tiny rake and shovel from our greenhouse. Of course I was smiling, not just because of the gifted tulips, but because I had been here before, in the spring of kindness.

I was five when I saw it wrapped in the garage. Easter morning. Not chocolate, or a bunny of any kind, but a tiny set of garden tools, just my size. In the brightest of colors. A green shovel. A red hoe and a yellow rake. Colors so shiny, they were spring itself. They were bright and simple. 

Not all the days to follow would be like this. Something in my heart told me to hang on. Something in my heart told me that this is what would carry me — moments of kindness. The shiny moments of people who care, and dare to show it.

We placed the bulbs in the ground. Four to five weeks it said on the box from Holland – that’s how long it would take. I laughed to myself, knowing, in my heart, they were already in full bloom — the spring of kindness.