It’s April, and spring has sprung. I’ve been racing every minute, excited for summer.

I hurried to have the air conditioner serviced and turned on.

I boxed up the winter clothes, took the coats to the dry cleaner, and treated the lawn with Scotts.

I put the shovels away and got out the rake, and lawnmower. I shelved the rock salt and brought on the fertilizer.

I took off my Easter bonnet, packed up the Easter baskets, and placed them in the Easter storage tubs.

My lilacs are in full bloom. I love lilacs.

Yesterday, my friend Roberta brought me a vase filled with purple lilacs. They are gorgeous. Roberta knows how much I love lilacs – and her.

I honestly believe there is no flower as aromatic as lilacs. The strong scent carries quite a distance.

Did you know that lilacs date back to the 1750s? Purple lilacs are the most popular color. Lilacs can also be pink, blue, red, yellow and white.

Did you know that Rochester, New York, is the Lilac Capital of the World? Did you know that there are 1,000 varieties of lilacs?

Lilacs are my favorite, as well as springtime and backyard birds singing with nest-filling eggs. Don’t daffodils and tulips appear to be stretching their necks toward the sun?

Then, you know what happens every year?

Within the same warm week, the temperature drops from 68 to 32 and the house is freezing.

I’ve often thought, was I in too much of a rush? Do I turn the heat back on, or get out the winter clothes?

You know, we are always in a hurry. We need to stop and enjoy.

George Washington Carver stated: “Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.”

We do live in a beautiful world, and nature does talk to us.

Have you stopped and listened to the birds in your yard?

I like spring and summer so much because of the sounds, the smells and the warmth.

I believe we’d be much healthier if we slowed down and enjoyed something from nature, every day.

Andy Rooney once stated on CBS’s “60 Minutes”: “We’re doing a lot of complicated things in the world these days and we’re doing them too fast. Something’s got to be done about the passage of time. It’s got to be slowed down. The days, the weeks, the months and the years go by too fast. Our lives go by too fast.”

I suppose that is my April 12 message.

Readers, take a deep breath. Slow down. Relax with me, for a few minutes, and enjoy Roberta’s lilacs.

– Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.