Friday, January 28, 2011

Where Are The Birds?

I've been open, willing, and extremely happy to receive all the signs David has been sending me.  "Proof" if  you will that there is an Afterlife. "Proof" that energy does not die. "Proof" in our strong connection.

But there is one thing that puzzles me. Pulls at me.

There have been pens lying in the grass, butterflies sent to comfort my weeping soul, a hot spot on his side of our bed, just where David used to sit and sip tea before settling down to sleep, caterpillars curled up in the garden, playing "dead", but coming "alive" a few minutes later, and the Bird Story.

You remember the Bird Story. The one where I was looking after my grandchildren back in the summer. I'd just come into the house, to catch the childrens' show on television about the little bird who needed to fly free. He thanked the tearful child who had looked after him all winter, told the child he loved him,  but now it was time for him to go and join the rest of the flock. To fly away to freedom. Sad, but a very important life lesson.

Then there was the hawk messenger. I had seen it flying from my back deck a week before David died. And then once again, in our meditation the night before……

My birthday weekend, I spent at the home of Firstborn Son and his family. They had invited me so I wouldn't be alone. Early morning, as is my custom, I took my cup of coffee over to the kitchen window to watch the day begin. It was still dark, but a hazy light allowed me to just make out the shape of a rabbit, nibbling something under their crab apple tree.

"We're Lucky Rabbits!" David was fond of saying. Even at the end. We were lucky to have each other. I was pleased with this "sign" on my birthday. Daughter-in-law, coming up behind me, took one look at that rabbit and had a different interpretation. "Fertility, isn't that what rabbits mean?" I choked on my coffee, but kept a straight face. "Hmmmmm," was all I said.

Not long afterwards, we were sitting around the breakfast table, when my eyes were drawn to movement in their backyard. Two cardinals perched on that crab apple tree. Then two more. Then a whole gathering! I was amazed! I had never seen so many cardinals all at once. They filled that tree. A message from David for sure.  Later I looked up some facts about cardinals and read that they mate for life.

What's puzzling me, is the lack of birds in my own backyard. There have been none at all this winter. Our bird feeders are full. David used to enjoy sitting in his comfy chair by the window watching winter birds. We had finches, chickadees, some cardinals and blue jays, juncos, and woodpeckers in the trees. This year there are none. Every morning I watch for them. None. I've taken down the feeders, washed them, refilled them,  but it changes nothing. They are full. Swinging eerily in the cold winter air. Not a bird in sight. How strange. Did David take the birds? Are they escorting him somewhere?

I was at my doctor's office (yes, it feels strange to be seeking the services of a physician for a sore thumb joint, when all I had to do before was ask hubby). My doctor is a very kind, patient, and compassionate person. I came for a minor problem and yet she took a good amount of time to sit and talk. To ask how I was doing. When I mentioned my enigma over the lack of birds in my backyard, she said, "yes, that's strange, but I had another patient who had that very same experience. The winter after her husband died, there were no birds at the feeders, or in their yard. The next year they all came back, but that first one, they were gone."

Ah, so I'm not going crazy, or somehow repelling the birds with my sorrow. They will be back, at least I hope so. Has anybody else heard of this?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Christmas Present

I did not want to do Christmas this year. But Christmas came anyway.
Christmas morning, I decided to go out for a walk. I was spending Christmas at my daughter's; the evening had been fun, especially watching the little ones opening their gifts. But this morning, I needed to be alone, so left them warm and cozy in front of the fireplace, toys strewn all over the floor.

I opened the front door to a cold morning. However, bits of sunshine were peaking through the clouds, so out I went. Not having a plan at all, I just walked, automatically turning my face towards the sun. After about 10 minutes or so, I realized I was in the neighbourhood of David's childhood home. Somehow my feet had taken me in that direction.

I stood on the sidewalk gawking at his childhood home. Taking some deep breaths of clear cold air I tried to absorb precious energy waves of Christmases long past.  I imagined David as a little boy, opening Christmas presents, playing street hockey with friends, eating turkey with his family. David with a smile on his face looking out at the world with those sparkly brown eyes - the ones I'd fallen in love with.

There was nobody about, so I took my time. I wasn't quite sure what people would think of a middle-aged lady anchored to the sidewalk gazing at an ordinary house. Was she going to knock on the door? Or was she just going to stand there all day in the freezing cold?

Eventually I turned away. Probably should get back, I thought to myself. I'm getting cold and the kids must be wondering where I am. Ahhhh, but in the distance I could see the Lake, the sparkly, silvery Lake, luring me with its charm. What is it about water? Whether it is winter or summer, I feel the irresistible pull of a lake, river, or ocean. Just a little farther, they seem to say. And I'm never disappointed.  

So I continued down the sidewalk all the way to the end of the street. Then the sidewalk ended in a footpath which led to the Lake. As I got closer to the water, I braced myself to be hit in the face with a cold gust of wind, but the air was still. The scene in front of me was beautiful in its serenity; snow-covered evergreens at the shoreline, silvery ice crystals adorning water's edge, soft clouds, calm water, all was quiet and peaceful.

Without warning the glorious Sun burst forth, transforming the soft greyness of the landscape into shimmering, shining gold. It was as if David had popped out of the clouds to greet me with a joyful:
"Hi Sweetheart, Merry Christmas! I was waiting for you to get here!"

I stood there absorbing the golden sunlight, feeling David's love and warmth enveloping me. What a nice Christmas gift! And well worth the long walk and cold toes.

Just then a dog ran up, startling me by rudely sticking its nose right between my legs! The owners were horrified, and called out an apology, but I just laughed and petted the dog. 

"Ha! Still trying to get between my legs, are ya David?"  Smiling to myself I started back towards Daughter's home.