I spent some of this first day of the 3 day holiday weekend weeding. It’s the same old thing, by the time I get around to weeding the perennial garden it’s overrun with grass. I don’t even need to take a before picture – it looks the same as it did last year at this time. Think of a long green rectangle filled to overflowing with grass waving knee high. You would be accurate.
So what does a person think about when she’s pulling grass mindlessly for an hour or so? Well if you’re me, you think about your Dad. He’d have been 85 last February. I’d have liked to see him achieve that age, see what he was interested in, what he’d think about world events. I imagine him talking to the DOT about truck issues, can hear his impatience with the slowness that is Washington. I hear his encouragement to keep up the good fight.
I think about Mom too, of course. She loved her flowers and her birds. Though she didn’t die at the same time or in the same way as Dad, it sometimes feels like one event, their deaths happened so close together. I think about her when the oriole couple visit, or when I hear the cranes in the swamp up the road. And I think about her when I’m weeding.
This week while work was especially difficult I’d get up from my desk to stretch and glance out the window. Thursday and Friday almost every time I did a robin flew around the corner of the building and landed at the tip top of a tall spruce tree, about level with my window. It swayed in the breeze and chattered as I stood and watched and smiled. Eventually I’d get back to work and when I’d glance out in a bit the bird was gone. But it was back three or four times when I’d stand up to stretch, and the last time it stared in my direction while it chattered. I know the windows are glazed and the bird can’t really see me. And the bird couldn’t know that I needed that little bit of entertainment during a very bad day. But each time that robin turned up I’d said “hi” to Mom, and before I sat down again I’d say a silent “bye, see you next time.”
So I’ve been thinking about the two of them a lot these past few days. That’s not a bad thing, I’ve sort of enjoyed it. Especially during these beautiful spring days when I’m pulling weeds in my garden and they’re both just a memory away.