Tag Archives: recovery

Birds of Spring

Preface:

The love for spring and birds and all things beautiful prompted me to write this – the robin started it all and the progression to put the words to page ended up including thoughts about my mom. Both of us are spring babies and the appreciation she had for nature inspired me to follow paths where the wild things live. I am not brave. I fear death. Yet in my own way, I am an explorer and an adventurous soul. I am not sad. I am merely reflecting on beautiful thoughts that still bring tears.

*****

RobinWe sat on the back deck under the umbrella and chatted. We cradled ceramic mugs adorned with images of birds. The hot tea warmed us and cool spring breezes washed over us like whispered conversation. We had grown comfortable with the sporadic comments and the pleasurable silence that punctuated our early Saturday morning visit. The sun was still to our right but would soon be to our backs as we sat in shade of the house. Bundled in large knit sweaters, we settled back in the canvas chairs, sipping green tea and warming our hands. Overhead, crisscrossing jet trails cut the wild blue yonder into slices of pie.

“Why do they have to mess up the beautiful sky?” she would ask. We always looked up watching for birds and small planes and whatever else the countryside might offer. I knew she loved the view from the deck at the back of her house. The jet trails were something we always noticed and talked about. It was something we often speculated about – was it weather related air current type stuff, or was it a conspiracy to create cloud when there was none, or was it just because it was what jets do at a high altitude. Whatever the reason, it would come to be my way of knowing she was always with me – perhaps, even her way of showing support wherever I might be and whatever I might be doing. The jet contrails and the birds of spring, both beautiful and meaningful in their own way, are a necessary part of how I was able to move forward without her.

Because of her love for nature and her little house in the country, I began to take more notice of those things around me that drew me to her. Yellow eyed daisies growing in white waves always remind me of her, because they grew wild in her yard and as the years went by there were more and more of them. I see every full moon and remember her calls to me, “Did you see the moon?” I watch for the geese and their return to the northern climes after a long migration. Then in the fall when they coo and swoop in large masses collecting their formations way up high amongst the clouds, I regret their leaving just as I regret hers.

Winter was beginning to be unbearable and the worry about her living alone is one thing that weighed as heavy as the snow on her little roof. She did not relish moving into the Park to be closer to the civilized world; it was not in her destiny to move into any kind of senior’s residence, either. The fates took care of that concern, although I would have shoveled her driveway forever and took care of her when the time came. It didn’t come, though. Her journey was not with that kind of finish.

This year I noticed the robins more and their activity around me. It seems there a few around who accompany me on my day. One makes its home in the eaves above my apartment window and you can hear it singing in the still early morning. One stopped for a picture on a post outside my cabin window while I was in Jasper and another hopped up to the truck for a picture while I sat in the parking lot at Miette Hot Springs. Yet another hopped closer and closer while I loaded the truck with books this past weekend.

Everyone deals with loss in different ways. Recognizing the little things we used to talk about and remembering the things she loved is how I am able to move forward. Writing these words helps, too – as I am able now to express them from my heart without pain tearing into them before I even have a chance to put them to the page. The test would be to read them out loud – although I am sure I could attempt it, one never knows how one’s emotions are going to interfere at any given time. The wound is deep and will never going to go away, but it is healed over, protected from outside exposure.

*****

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under On Life, On Thinking, On Writing

Writing and planning and all that goes with it…

To me, the statement “life goes on” is such a broad and general expression. It is a phrase comprised of words said as confirmation, in consolation, or for situations where we don’t know what else to say except to state the obvious… but it’s the truth and it does go on even if in a different way or a dramatically changed manner. We all have, at one time or another, experienced events that rock our world and change how we forever view it, leaving only memories, if we are so lucky. So as I move beyond the hold of raw grief into the confusing realm of memories and newly discovered freedoms, I work through the debris in the best way I can, dealing with the uncontrolled emotional outbursts and equally disturbing contented quiet, grasping in both instances, tangible objects for grounding or intangible feelings for comfort. I continue to do what I’ve always done – take on too much, keep too busy, and devise and  dream of all kinds of plans. It is the opposite of depression where one wants to do nothing… instead, I want to do everything. I want to feel happy, I want to experience the depths of love, the heights of exploration, the vastness of this journey – I want it all; I want to live. But, as with most things, even life takes some modicum of planning unless we are drawn to the up and whatever of spontaneity – totally acceptable, yes, but a scheduling nightmare when one is working, running a company and a volunteer organization, entertaining a renewed relationship, freelancing, connecting with friends and family, and spending valuable time with a daughter who will be moving out of town.

All acceptable. But all need planning and juggling (see this blogger’s post for more on the coping with the overwhelming as a writer). Even though there is an emptiness that will persist, I feel as if I can move beyond the past year’s stress and emotional strain, to look at having some fun and creating happiness for myself. The planned writer’s retreat in May was decided in the fall and looks to be a wondrous 3 day delve into writing and relaxation and inspiration. The getaway in April (Easter long weekend) is something that has been brewing and stirring inside of me… growing over time, spurred by need, driven by passion… and as if the gates were opened and I was offered the open field, my spirit will venture to the place where the wild horses run. Finding and booking accommodations in a B-and-B in the exact area was like serendipity – synchronicity at work. I always contend the things that work in that way were just meant to be… timing, it’s all about timing and taking time.

I know that accomplishments lie ahead – I welcome them and strive toward them. But I also know, many of those achievements will be bittersweet as I share silently with one who will be forever missed. I think about how she would have loved to hear about all these adventures and how she would have worried as we ventured off on each and every one of them – she was like that and it is something I try not to do when my daughter is away, despite her claim that I am always worrying… (I’m not. Really. Do I?)

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde 

Photo: Wild horses near Socorro, N.M. Credit: Associated Press

 

3 Comments

Filed under On Dreaming, On Life, On Writing