He wished me Spring

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Spring is the time of year when new life vibrates just beneath the surface of the ground.  The earth is warming and pulsing with life. Seeds are germinating and shafts of green are pushing up through the soil — stretching to receive light. The air is cool, dry and crisp. Birds flit about stealing dried bits to stuff into the small places where they will hide their young. Creatures emerge from their slumber to make the sounds that will build to create the symphony of summer.

Spring is also the time when my mother died. With the cool breeze comes the faint memory of the car ride to the memorial service. The sky was a crisp Colorado blue — the day was cruel in it’s beauty. With her, died everything I ever believed about the world. My personal world construct was shattered.  She was brutalized, her blood was spilled, and her heart stopped beating.
Her life was no more.

I think, if she could have voiced her last wish for me, it would be that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
She would have wished me Spring.

And Spring is when my stepmother died. With the sunshine that calls forth the buds on the trees, comes the memories of our drive to the funeral home and the flurry of decisions. We surrounded her bed as a family on the night she died, unaware that as we prayed to say goodbye, that she would really go. I awoke to the alarm, in the dark of the morning, and crept down the quiet hall to her room- it was time to slip the tiny white pill beneath her tongue to quell the anxiety. But when I got there, the weak heaving of her chest had stopped. But I couldn’t be sure — was she breathing? Her skin was cool — or was it? Should I wake my sleeping father to his dread? Could this be?
It was over.

I think, if she could have voiced her last wish for me, it would be that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
She would have wished me Spring.

And Spring is the time when we celebrate Easter. With the dyed eggs, and the grassy baskets, and the pretty dresses, come the memories of the cross and the horror of His passing. With the opening of the daffodils, I remember the day His life-giving blood was spilled in hatred. And with the rising of the sun, three days later, I remember that the stone was rolled away, and He rose.
But was He really alive? It made no sense.
Did they really see Him?
For Him, it wasn’t over.

He did voice His last wish- a wish that has been carried through the generations. He wished that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
Because of Him, I have access to it all.
He wished me Spring.

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Photo Credit:  Caroline Paulus
A late Easter post dedicated to a blogger in England who, tragically, just lost her son, and is suffering through unspeakable grief.
See her story at The Journey of My Left Foot (whilst remembering my son)
My Friend, He wishes you Spring…

City Spring ~ Country Spring

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I like to read the words of my friends who walk over grates on city streets. I hear the flack-flack-flacking of the train and the whirring of the subway. I smell the city and open my eyes into another world. There is a mass of passing faces and resign as I enter the wave. Vendors are busy and the streets are alive. The concrete is warming and I take my lunch outside. It is Spring in the city.

My friends like to read my words, as I drive the country roads with all my windows down. Old barns dot the landscape and there isn’t a face in sight. Six doe leap across the road ahead of me and I slow to watch them take long, graceful strides before ducking into the woods. The air is soft and cool and the fields hint green. The peepers have emerged from their winter hiding places and their song is the signal — it is Spring in the country.

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Subway photo: James Adamson 

Chicken Talk

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I pinch myself. It’s actually happening…
Very soon, my friends,
Very soon, there shall be fat ants and juicy worms.
Very soon, they shall throw us lettuces and kales from the garden.

Roadie Yoke, Spokeschicken
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Photo Credit: Will Whittier

Just outside the window…

 

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In the early morning hours, when the only sound is the quiet hum of the house, I open the window over my desk and wrap myself a little more tightly into my robe. The soft, cool breeze carries in a swirl of noise.

What’s left of the morning rain drips off the roof, tap, tap, tapping on the wooden porch beneath my window. Morning tunes, sung in all octaves, fill the air with layers of asymmetric artistry. Busy chickadees flutter and flap as they dart back and forth with bits of stuff for their nests. One brave, little fellow lands on the sill right in from of me- curiously seeking fuzzy treasure.

The grass is soggy and bright green. Robins land and bounce, cocking their heads as if to listen for the worms they spot and wriggle out of the soft ground.

Spring has finally swept over the land.

There are many days when the sky seems to boil and dark clouds roll; days when torrential rain forces the creeks to overflow, and large pools of water flood the low places in the terrain. Under the mud and muck, new life pulsates with wild energy.

A careful eye will see plants beginning to make their rhythmic rise from the soil. Finally, after a long, frozen winter in the midwest, gardens are being cleared and planted, and farmers are waiting for the perfect day to till and seed.

With the faithful entrance of Spring comes the annual invitation to join in the rhythm. A new day to dig, a new day to seed, a new day to water. A new day to release that which has passed, so that it can fortify that which is to come. A new day to work for the promise of a reaping.

Just outside the winter-stained window, there’s a noise that’s louder that the drone of this world; a ringing more urgent than the constant ping of the cell phone.

There is an offer to take part in a story so much more exciting than the one portrayed on screen.
It’s organic, it’s ancient, and it calls to our souls.
Arise and awaken, open a window and listen for the sound… new life is at hand.

Happy Spring…

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Ahhhhh… Happy Spring! 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

This fat, little toad waves “Hello to you!” from my garden.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky , is by no means a waste of time.”
Sir T. Lubbock
(pg 11. Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012


Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Bluebird eggs!
This nest is on my back porch and I go out 100 times a day to see if we have babies.

“A bird’s egg comprises a wondrous balance. It bears the weight of an incubating parent, and yet is not so thick that the grown hatchling cannot get out.”
Maryjo Koch, Bird Egg Feather Nest
(pg 144, Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan)

 

Photo by Catherine Whittier© 2012

Momma bluebird sitting on her eggs to keep them warm.

“Incubating birds develop brood patches- areas on the abdomen that are bare of feathers. Here networks of fine blood vessels lie close to the surface. These distribute body heat and keep [the eggs] at their normal incubating temperature- about 93 degrees.”
Alexander Wetmore, Song and Garden Birds of North America
(pg 62, Meditations For Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

Daddy bluebird is protective; he spends a considerable amount of time chasing woodpeckers away from a nearby bird feeder. He also frequently visits the nest. He is so elusive, the minute I open the door or window to take a picture, he’s off~ in a flash of brilliant blue.

“Nest building takes place most frequently in the morning. The male usually guards the birdhouse while the female makes trips to gather nesting material, or he may follow her around.”
Donald and Lillian Stokes, The Complete Birdhouse Book
(pg 48, Meditations for Mothers, Elisa Morgan) 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

“Propagation is work. Real work. How a bird manages to charm a mate, design and construct a nest, incubate eggs, feed hatchlings incessantly, and defend it’s territory, seems an exhaustive, if not impossible feat.”
Maryjo Koch, Bird Egg Feather Nest
(pg 22, Meditations For Mothers, Elisa Morgan)

 

Photo by Catherine Whittier ©2012

The same God that hovered over the waters of the dark and empty earth,
The God who simply said, “Let there be light,” and there was~
He hovers over my heart.

The same God that separated the light from the dark, and the day from the night,
The God that suspends the moon and the stars,
The same God that decided upon watercolors for the sky
and a rhythm for every sunrise~
That God hovers over my heart. 

The God who gathers waters and calls them seas,
The God who asked the earth to bear fruit,
The God who formed the tiny seed, 
The God who fortified the soil with every necessary thing~
That God hovers over my heart.

The great and mighty artist,
The grand designer,
The wild sculptor,
The fierce lover of all manner of good things,
The One who infuses every speck with life~
He hovers over my heart 

This great God,
This smiling One who parts the seas,
This One who weaves with His breath~
Wraps His ancient and expert hands around mine
and whispers, “Create.” 
He invites me to close my eyes and see in color.
This God, this One with laughing eyes,
The One who designed the toad and the firefly,
The bluebird and the flower,
This God~
He hovers over my heart.

Catherine Whittier © 2012  

Happy Spring my friends… He hovers over your hearts!