Waiting for the thaw

There was a meadowlark here yesterday. I know there was.

I know because I rolled down the window and said “Look! Clare. Look at the bird.”

I pointed to the little yellow breast, perched on the barb wire.

“Clare, look at the meadowlark.”

She turned in her carseat to where I pointed.

“Do you see it?”

And then it sang.

There were bluebirds here yesterday. And crocus poking through weathered mulch. There was the mintiest tinge to the sage. And the pine trees smelled fresh. Clean. Springy.

A few weeks ago, in a spur of hope, I threw a fly rod in the car. Thinking that thinking positive - thinking warm thoughts - might hasten the thaw, might break the ice. It didn’t.

It clanked against the back of my seat as I stopped.

“Do you see?”

“Bird,” she said. “Tweet, tweet.”

And it flew away.

There were turkeys here yesterday. I heard them milling about in the Ponderosa, gobbling as the sun set.

I’ve waited for this. Waited long, cold months. Waited with hope that all things eventually do turn to spring.

But today. Oh, today. Six inches of snow. More coming, not down, but sideways. Ice. The interstates are closed. It’s been a long winter. A cold one. A tough one.

I’ve holed up like a big brown. Moving slowly, hardly aware - dark, cold and sedate.

Surviving. But not much more.

But then the bluebirds came, and the elk filtered down on the spring meadows, and the turkeys started their yearly courtship and the whole world turned twitterpated - for a day or two.

It was gone as quick as it came. A mirage. Or maybe a promise.

It was the meadowlark that stirred it - that lilt in a recess of my brain, that whisper of a memory that the sun comes again, warms the earth, and winter melts away. Life begins again.

Til then, I wait for the thaw.

 
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