robinI have been  thinking about a post on spring.  And the problem is, it’s hard to muse on spring without sounding trite. The mounds of crusty, black snow have melted. The air feels a bit fresher. The sound of birds chirping wafts in morning breezes. (Insert visions of the bluebirds tying ribbons in Cinderella’s hair here. Darting in and out of her open window.  Sheer white curtains dancing in the wind.)

Daffodils and crocuses are popping though damp, brown earth. The hope of grass and the smell of green and summer is in the air.

I saw my first robin a few weeks ago.  I asked her if she was my mother. No kidding.  I did.  I have been looking for mom in nature. She loved it so and I have had the hardest time finding or feeling her since her death.  My dad was much easier.  I could smell the scent of his Old Spice, the comfort of his hand on my knee on a turbulent plane flight.  I could hear his words of counsel when I was confused or longing or lonely.  He’s been with me these past ten years.

But mom just looked out that nursing home window and closed her eyes and poof!  She was gone. It’s the strangest thing. But not really.  Mom always was more ethereal. Whimsical and unpredictable. Almost childlike in her ability to conjure up magic in a moment. Dreamy. And a bit elusive.  Dad on the other hand was solid. Given to rituals. Clocklike in his predictability.

With the anniversary of her death a couple weeks away, I have a feeling this spring she will appear.  Unexpected, I will feel or see her. In something she loved or felt or shared.  A cup of tea.  A moss-covered rock. I remember once, as a child, we had a field mouse in our house and instead of setting a mouse trap, she drew a picture of a tiny door on the baseboard of my room and told me bedtime stories of the adventures of Mr. Mouse and his family and their secret life inside the walls of our home.  Dad would have had a broom or a shovel after that rodent faster than mom could have said “Once upon a time,” but for weeks, it seemed, our little friend lived under my closet door.

And my imagination soared higher with each new tale of his adventures.

So perhaps mom has been busy whispering her angel magic into the ears of little ones everywhere. Telling them they will be OK after a tumble.  Loving them after a bully calls them “stupid” or just holding them close when they are afraid.

That was her strength.  That is what made her special.  Her ability to love openly and unashamed in a fearless, endearing way. And I’m thinking, that is who she has been busy with as she finds her way to whatever world her spirit will settle in.

Or more like mom, she will stay in the wind. In rebirth. In joy. In unguarded laughter and chance meetings, coincidences that aren’t really. Things that happen that we are too busy to stop and notice.

Things we miss if we are not listening to the rustle in the grass. The whispers in the wind.

But I am going to try to stop.  Or at least slow down.  And notice.

And to be as sappy as a Hallmark card writer on Mother’s Day, I’ll remember the words to the Cinderella’s song she sang to her birds as they chirped and fawned and made her bed and tied her bows:

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.  When it’s fast asleep…No matter how your heart is grieving if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish for comes true.”