Sunday, March 1, 2009

Signs of Spring

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to read me a story about the swallows of Capistrano -- how they left the little village every fall to migrate south, taking the sunshine and warm weather with them. Throughout the winter, the villagers yearned for the day the swallows would return, bringing back longer, warmer days and the promise of new life. In the story, the swallows finally come back after a long winter. The gardener of the local mission church rings the church bells to let the people of Capistrano know the swallows are back, and everyone gets together for a huge celebration to welcome the swallows home.

My own long winter is over.

January through March is the busiest time in my day job, and I have been consumed with that work. (Hence the long delay between postings.) We've also had family issues that have kept us busy -- a daughter with a medical emergency in Kansas City, and a medical scare with my Dad in Springfield, Illinois.

Last week, we had our own little harbinger of Spring.

We were in the midwest, visiting my daughter and then my Dad, in 30 degree weather; the grey skies pressing down; the snow dancing sideways on the highways in the wind -- and coldest of all, our fears for everyone's safety.

My parents have a huge holly tree growing by their front door. As we walked past it going to and from the hospital, I noticed that it was loaded with red berries -- a bold splash of color in an otherwise dreary landscape. As it turns out, our daughter is OK. Dad's OK, too. They fixed him up with medication and sent him home.

As we walked up to the front door, the holly tree was shaking, as if consumed by the holy spirit, and we could see that it was literally filled with robins -- fifty or more, maybe a hundred -- happily munching berries to celebrate their return to the midwest.

My family is fine. The robins are back in the midwest. We're back in Colorado and I have crocuses blooming in my garden.

The bells in my heart are pealing like laughter.

Just like the swallows, I'm back.


Sundari Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the lovely post. I'm glad everything is well with your family. Looking forward to a wonderful spring!

Allvira said...

you'll enjoy a lot there. I think 30 degree temperature for enjoying the trip. "The snow dancing sideways on the highways in the wind." I am very much happy that all is well.