The Winds of Change . . .

The Winds of Change . . .

Spring is in the air…


Well, as of today, Spring is upon us. March 20, 2014 marks the spring equinox and the end of winter. If you lived in Southern California this year you may feel like summer never ended and we just skipped through winter and went right into spring. I guess that is one of the main reasons we are all crammed into this corner of the world, some of the best weather on the planet, am I right? But I digress.

I love spring, a new chapter about to begin, and a fresh new outlook on life. A new beginning where hope springs eternal. A chance to shed the old and invite in the new. As much as we may want some things to stay the same in this life that is a power we do not posses. Things do not stay the same. We are always facing change and evolution. Most people, like me, have trouble processing that the only constant in this life, is change.

I want to repeat that… The only constant in this life, is change!

No matter how much we want something to stay the same, it never will, time marches on and the old chapters end and the new ones begin. Nature provides an unparalleled education to us all with the changing seasons and days that grow longer as we get warmer. What a great teacher to us all if we would just be still and allow the lesson to wash over us and be embraced us.

The smells of spring are one of the biggest indicators to me of this change. We have a wisteria vine in our back yard and when it blooms its purple flowers, the sweet aroma is unmistakable. As I walk outside it can literally stop me in my tracks, as I inhale deeply, a smile cracks over my face and I just take it in. It is one of the best reminders of me to just stop and appreciate the moment of now. So I stop and smell the wisteria.

Photo Courtesy of ©


It is one of the hardest things for us humans, to just stop and appreciate the now. To not worry about the future or try and fix something in our past – to just enjoy the moment in front of you. I understand that not all moments in our life are joyful, that pain and sorrow can be part of our now as well. But even in that journey we must pause and take it in, as difficult as that is.

I take in that sweet wisteria aroma for as much and as long as I can because I know it will not be around very long. The seasons continue to march on just like the seasons of our lives. If you are a parent you see the constant changes in your children as they grow and mature, they do not stay babies or toddlers or even teenagers forever (Thank God) they are in constant flux and change. Another terrific reminder for us of this constant evolution we call life.

So embrace the change and the newness that it brings. Be intentional about truly seeing the moments in front of you as they unfold. They will never unfold in quite the same way for you ever again – enjoy them! So take a moment this spring to “stop and smell the wisteria (or whatever makes you stop in your tracks)” and open your heart and soul to feel the wonderful newness of spring as a smile cracks across your face and you soak it all in.

Photo Courtesy of ©


|| what do you think?

What is your biggest reminder of spring?

What is your trigger that reminds you to stop and smell the roses?

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.


  1. Diana says:

    What a refreshing blog!It’s a time to enjoy the great outdoor activities and breathe in that clean spring air. I am amazed how many things there are to experience. Spring is the perfect time to think about all our senses and how we can embrace this season of change.

    • Chuck Ricciardi says:

      After 49 springs Im still amazed as well, at all that can amaze us and tickle our senses. Sight, sound, smell and touch. they all come alive during this time of year if we only let them. I know every season is a season of change but the renewal that spring brings is always special and encouraging. Do not delay, time to go experience them.


  2. Shayna Mallik says:

    What a great blog! I love how your blog reminds us to stop and take in the moments. I love spring but miss the winter, even the little bit of winter we do get. Especially this “winter” since well their wasn’t really a winter. Spring has the best of both worlds, sunny days with a little of a breeze. Also today is a special day to me now because it is my fiance’s birthday! We both love spring as you can tell since our wedding is in spring and is 23 days away. WOW!
    Once again thank you for sharing Chuck!


    • Chuck Ricciardi says:


      Well happy B-Day to your soon to be X-boyfriend. And yikes 23 days, where does the time go? I’m very excited for you as you start this new chapter in your life. Another change in the seasons for you.


  3. Chuck,
    For me, the most prominent signal that spring is here is all of the bird songs I start hearing. The joy of those notes, the sweet reminder that we as people aren’t the only ones noticing the change, the fact that birds know it’s happening without the convenience of a calendar is mesmerizing.
    I love your blog, I will intentionally be seeking out time outdoors, with a good book & cold drink taking in the sounds of the birds & that warm sun on my legs.

    Thanks for the reminder to stop : )


    • Chuck RIcciardi says:

      Oh yes, the song birds of spring. Sound is another wonderful reminder for us isn’t. I also love that and have enough trees around to allow me to soak that in as well. From the rushed chirps of hummingbirds to the call of the hawk circling above and everything in between. They know something is up and they do not even own a smart phone, computer or TV, it is innate. It is also innate in us, we have just put to many distraction in front of us so that we are blinded by what our mind, body and soul are telling us. So take spring on!


  4. Patricia Kolstad says:

    Hi Chuck . .
    First of all what a great blog! It really got me to thinking about my life right now! I love the first day of Spring . . not only because it’s the start of renewal, but it is also when I gave birth to my son, Bruce, who has brought me such joy!
    Your title “The Winds of Change”, makes me giggle inside, because that was a key phrase that a former employee here used quite often. But what you describe is so very true. And most of us don’t think about “slowing down” enough to stop and enjoy all of the wonders of this life. It has only been in the last several years that I have begun to appreciate and accept with confidence, all of the changes that have occurred in my life.
    I think it is difficult to explain to teens and young adults that the life they are living right now will most likely never be the life they will live as they age. Changes are all around us. We change schools, we change careers, our bodies are always changing, our income changes. I think about our aging seniors and all of the changes that cause grief and depression. The loss of their spouse. The loss of their eyesight and the ability to drive. The loss of their home as they must make the decision to enter a Senior Living complex. When we are young, we can accept changes much more easily. As we age, change can bring depression and heartache, or at least the fear of the unknown.
    I have learned to “accept the contributions” as I was once told by our visionary CEO, Neil O’Connor. I think I have learned to be an advocate of change by meeting it head on. This life is so brief. I want to continue to delight in change and be the best mentor to my family and friends. I want them to know that though you may not be able to control everything that will happen in your life . . . you can control how you accept it!
    Thanks for sharing your journey!
    Patty O’

    • Chuck RIcciardi says:


      Thank you for your heartfelt response. The quicker we realize in this life that control of all outcomes is an illusion, the better off we will be. I know you have gone through some significant change in your life and family recently with the death of your brother. The pain and anguish of a death of our loved ones cannot be adequately described by the english language. But I also know like a phoenix from the ashes that new chapters open up and a new normal begins. Hopefully, with that, comes healing. We can paddle feverishly against the current, killing ourselves while trying to reach some believed destination that will bring us happiness. Or, we can go with the flow, ride along with the current effortlessly and soak it all in as the journey unfolds. Free will… Love you.


  5. Joe Lavoie says:

    I appreciate the weather the most and the smells in the air , not the pollen because of my allergies. My family usually always travel in the spring time because of the not so hot weather this was always a slow down time for my family and I have vivid memories of the time we spent together. I try and do the same with my own family now as a new tradition to appreciate the time together and just to realize to appreciate the time we do have. Thanks for this reminder of good times in my life.
    Sincerely Joe Lavoie

    • Chuck RIcciardi says:

      It is a wonderful gift to give to our families when we slow down and come together. In this hectic corner of the world we call Southern California it is easier said then done. I to have found memories of spring break travels and the feeling of a new beginning. I do feel sorry for all you allergy sufferers during this time, but hopefully the good out weighs the bad and we all appreciate the newness spring brings into our lives. Good times!

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