Monday, April 28, 2014

Waiting for Birdsong

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all

And sweetest - in the Gale -is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land - 
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

~ Emily Dickinson

Today a turtle dove has been sitting in the redbud tree. Of course, waiting for a warm and sunny spring day, like the rest of us!

Seems fitting, somehow, after thinking of birds so much the last day or two. 

Derrick sent me a picture of a bird that had been "hanging out" with him in a parking lot for about 20 minutes, waiting for a store to open on Sunday morning. The gull reminded both of us of the days that Henri found us. I asked Derrick if he had a special stash of seeds in his pocket to entice the bird over. "No and no!" Derrick responded, knowing he won't take a bird into his life now. 

Later in the day, T and I went to the lake. We really just stopped by on our way home from a trip to Wisconsin and Illinois. Made a quick perusal of The Cottage and how spring looks at the lake. Thankfully, the grass won't need to be mowed for a week or two, still a bit too chilly for that. Henri's dogwood tree is far from ready to blossom. But I looked at Henri's favorite curved branch, thinking of our days together. 

In the night, I dreamt of a small bird that gotten into a building somehow. Of all the people there, I was the one that was able to gently catch it in my hands to take it outside to safety. A little girl walked along with me, to watch how it would fly away. The bird was not really a bird I've seen before, but a small brownish/yellowish song bird. It obviously felt comfortable in my presence. Once outside the building, when I opened my hands to let it fly away, it simply stayed in my cupped hands, enjoying a sort of walk with me. 

Can't imagine what that dream might actually mean, but it left me with a good feeling. Longing all the more for a warm and sunny spring day to enjoy birdsong!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Retirement Changes

"We're all just walking each other home."
~ Ram Dass

My parents have lived in Bloomington, Illinois for about 24 years. Longer than they have lived anywhere. None of us lived with them in their home there, all grown and gone by the time they moved there. Still, I think of it as home. 

They lived in that house before Derrick was born. We visited there when he was just a baby, going there as often as we could fit into a busy, growing up life. He would ride on the back of the tandem bicycle with Grandpa, feet resting on the make-shift foot rest before he could reach the pedals. During grade school years, Derrick visited there during the summer. He attended Space Camp, went camping with Grandpa, and built model airplanes. When in high school the visits changed a bit. We went for family events, like when Grandpa retired and the funeral service for Great Grandma. Derrick started driving when we went. It was a constant in his life that our own lives didn't provide. Moving, divorce, lots of changes. But Grandma and Grandpa's home was always the same.

Visiting Mom and Dad there was always a special event. Favorite foods, going somewhere I'd never been before, spending time in the garden, laughing while sharing memories of growing up years. I hope that Derrick always feels as special in my home when he returns as an adult. 

About a month ago I was able to take T there for the first time. Even though I never lived there, I thought that would give him a more complete picture of where (who, actually) I'm from.

Dad called the other day. They had just returned from a visit to my sister and brother-in-law in Scottsdale, Arizona. Daddy doesn't usually place the calls. So I was clearly paying attention when I answered the phone. He said the trip to Arizona was great. One morning Mom told him, "I can imagine myself living here." Well, that's all it took! He went to see a realtor that very day. Dom showed them a neighborhood they should look at, just a mile from their winter home. An offer was made and accepted. They are moving! They'll list their house in Bloomington soon. They want each of us to consider taking family pieces we might be interested in, the remainder will go to an estate sale. They'll move some of their favorite things with them and purchase other things they need to complete their home when they relocate. 

Mom and Dad plan to visit the Midwest when the family typically gathers; Independence  Day at the lake, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in Lake Bluff. When they come in the summer we have already discussed the possibility of their visit to our home for a week or so. The idea is that when they come for a longer stay, we will have more quality time together. Hopefully T and I will be able to visit them in their new home once in awhile. 

As my brother said, "They never do anything spontaneous! I'm happy for them, just surprised." 

Both of them have more excitement in their voices than I've heard in a long time. It is a wonderful thing to consider something so new at this point in their lives. It could be something that brings them closer together than they have been in a long time. What a way to start retirement years!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Rain

The quieter you become, the more you can hear. 
~ Yasutani Roshi

Today is the first day of Spring rain. The rain washes down the deck, just swept yesterday from the remnants of Winter. 

I absolutely had to sit outside yesterday. It was the first time that it was warm enough to be outside without a jacket. Lunch, tea with a friend, and some pages read. Not to mention the sweeping, cleaning of tables, poking around in the gardens to see what is waiting to reveal itself to us. So glad I took that opportunity to enjoy the air and sunshine!

The beginning of the Spring rains marks three months in our home. Three months of our married life. The beginning of a new season together. So even though many people don't like the rain . . . this rain is symbolic in the newness of all that lies before us still. The end of the long Winter, coldest on record, and with the most snowfall anyone can remember. 

Just a few moments ago a streak of lightening bolted across the sky. Then the resulting long, low rumble of thunder, actually felt in the floor of the house. Tommy, always afraid of loud noises, ran to hide under the bed. Bitty stayed with me, wondering what his fuss was all about. He has now safely retreated to the fluffy bed that he hasn't even used since we moved into the house.

The wind takes the chimes, making beautiful music in combination with the falling rain. The peaceful melody of our home. 

At 10:00 each morning (or as close to it as I can remember) I've taken a picture out into the meadow of our backyard. I should have thought to start this earlier in the year. But the progression of March has shown the changes that happen, ever so gradually, in the coming of Spring. Sometimes there has been snow. Sometimes the river is much closer than normal. The green starts to reveal itself. 

March 12

March 15

March 23

March 28

March 30

Each day shows its wonder.