Today I give thanks for...
The hummingbird that was visiting my sprepto carpella this afternoon. I caught him flitting around from flower to flower out of the corner of my eye after a painfully frustrating day. Every bit of this speaks to my mom sending me signs. Signs I am in need of right now. With her it's always birds, and I buy those same blooms every spring in her memory. I stilled, exhaled and released for the first time all day at the sight of that ruby-throated beaut. I wish I could say that the feeling of lightness that washed over me will stay with me for the rest of the evening, but I know better than that. Yet it was a moment, a reminder, a wink when I needed it, and I'll take what I can get.
It's not lost on me that timing is everything. I haven't seen a single hummingbird in my yard all summer until today. And tomorrow we leave for the place where I first made the connection between my mom and the hummingbird four years ago. Birds, in general, really. The day after her death it was the owl, then the hummingbird. Now bluebirds and mourning doves too. I know she sends them.
Family vacations without my mom are still sad. Five years ago we took our first trip up north without her and it wasn't easy. It was still worth it and there were memories made and fun had, but I thought about and missed her constantly. I'm in that same place today getting ready to embark, but I expect that when I retreat to the sun porch with my coffee in the morning, I won't be alone. I expect I'll hear the gentle whirring of a hummingbird as it gets a nip of nectar and it will stir a little sweetness within my soul.
I celebrate another trip around the sun on Sunday. It always makes me pause and take stock. It's not the number that has that effect, just the relentlessness of time's passage and all the living I still want to do. I'm at that point in my life where certain to dos no longer seem possible or plausible. That's a bit of a bitter pill because I never cross things off lists I've yet to accomplish. They stay put and are a constant reminder to get busy...to do...to be. And on the flip side, my mantra is be.here.now. It's a constant push and pull between being present and precient. The older I get, I find life more of a messy contradiction, and that's OK because at the end of the shitty day, the chaotic week, the challenging year...I'm still grateful.