Bearing witness to the mostly-melted snow cover blanketing the yard, I allow thoughts of Spring to seep through the portal of my mind’s eye. Until today, I had left it slightly ajar, fearing that a last-gasp blast of wind would suddenly slam it shut, dashing my dreams of crocuses and robins. But this time, I allow the door to swing gently, opening wider with each passing breeze and hint of red-budded tree tips.
This time I am confident that Spring is near. I feel it in the crisp air against my face. I sense it in the fragrance of straining leaflets. I hear it, as I subconsciously become aware of the building cacophony of my snow birds returning, one by one, to feast on my feeders and bathe in my finally-unfrozen birdbath; answering the ever-so-subtle call of the spinner in the center, its ripples broadcasting “Welcome home” in gently emanating rings, like a repeated refrain. Yes, this time we are all poised to “spring ahead”.
But before heeding the call of my ‘to-do’ list, I turn for a last look on the unfolding scene. Familiarly, my eyes fix on the ancient Adirondack chairs in the yard. The renewing cedar stain of last year’s maintenance efforts remains bright and unmarred, though melting snow inexorably seeps between the planks. I silently enumerate the seasons that have come and gone; the numerous repairs, seals and re-coats that had been applied, removed and reapplied though the years. Far more significant, though, are the events that occurred over the decades, in and around those sturdy, cedar arms.
I recall the days when our toddlers romped unendingly, stomping on the baby grass; and years long since when their children followed suit, scouring the shrubs and tree trunk niches for rainbow-colored Easter eggs, or playing backyard baseball (I watched from my reserved seat), as Grandpa pitched to the remarkable team of grandsons.
I smile to think of the unfettered joy and sense of accomplishment of waggy-tailed Shelties and Cavie pups, finally and successfully leaping onto welcoming laps; and with squeak-ball in mouth, excitedly pleading for another ‘fetch’. And I remember endless, lazy afternoons after challenging work days and seemingly never-ending business trips, where we two would unwind together, filling in the blanks of our times apart; our martinis, securely poised on the broad armrests.
As the last clinging clumps of snow disappear, I know that words cannot begin to explain why these two chairs, resting side by side, whisper to me of love and loyalty, faithfulness and forbearance, fortuitousness and forgiveness; of summer nights and S’mores around the fire pit; of friends and family; of home.
Today I begin Photo 101. Day One: Home & Getting Oriented
Home is elusive. When we think about this word, we might picture different physical locations. And while home is often found on a map, it can also be less tangible: a loved one, a state of mind.
“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven” Karen Sunde