It’s easier to be optimistic when butterflies flit from blossom to blossom and when birdsongs fill the air. Blustery winds and bone chilling cold seem like only a shadow left from a bad dream. God pauses to smile from fluffy clouds against a cerulean sky.
No season is perfect. Spring is a time of thunderstorms, tornadoes, pesky insects, and reptiles. April is a time of sad anniversaries, those dates that are firmly ingrained in my mind as a time of nearly unbearable loss. In a week, I will pause and remember Jim on the six-year anniversary of our journey’s end. Marking the day I knew he would never again sit on the front porch with a cup of coffee and smell lilacs on a sunny April morning.
I have not been too ambitious today, in fact, I’m resting up from my weekend at the Missouri Writers’ Guild conference. I would have slept later this morning, but before she left for work, Shawna had taken pity on my cat and let her come upstairs. By seven o’clock, Katrina could no longer contain herself, jumped up into my bed, and immediately tried to lie down on my head.
I had spent the morning catching up on email and Facebook. About noon, I decided to relax with my library book. Reading made me sleepy, so rather than take a nap, I decided to go outside for a while.
When I walked around the yard, it was easy to feel the essence of family that used to live here—Jim, his mom and dad. My brother-in-law, Terry, was outside and we looked over the garden spot and talked about the plants that he would plant in the garden.
“Just let me know what you would like me to plant,” he said.
“Well, I really liked those peppers last year, and you know I love tomatoes. Oh, and cucumbers, and zucchini,” I said. My taste buds were singing louder than the birds while I talked about fresh garden vegetables.
“And I’ll plant some lettuce,” Terry said, “for salads and wilted lettuce.”
“I’m thinking about planting some herbs,” I said, “in a container.” I can’t quite see me weeding and tilling in the evenings after I get home from work.
“We planted herbs here,” he said, pointing to the outer edge of the garden. “A few of them are coming up from last year. Here’s fennel, garlic, and chives. I don’t know if any of the other herbs will come up again this year.” We turned over a few dirty, faded plastic markers from last year. Terry had left the markers because, like me, he wasn’t sure if he could identify the herbs without them being in little plastic bottles plainly labeled.
While we walked around the yard, we talked about the mulberry tree, gooseberry vines and blackberry vines, and then I noticed the big may apples. “Hey, I bet mushrooms are up,” I said.
“Ginger didn’t find any yesterday,” he said.
As I walked back through the door to finish my inside work, I was smiling. This would be a great day to just sit outside on the porch and look at all the blooms, butterflies, and signs of spring. Sure, I still miss Jim, but I know in my heart Jim would not have wanted me to waste a minute of this gorgeous day thinking sad thoughts.
Copyright © April 2011 by L. S. Fisher