Hope is kind of sneaky. It can pop up out of nowhere and make you feel – well – a little ashamed, but then . . . better. Like yesterday.
I sat at the computer revising my second Minnie mystery and stopped to cough. Yup, I’m right in the middle of my annual always in February Sue cold. A big mug of honeyed tea sat next to me on the desk, the tissue box too and I was feeling quite miserable. I grabbed a tissue and blew. Then I looked out the window.
The trees outside are bare, not a hint of anything about to sprout. The snow from January is all gone so the brown icky leaves that we didn’t get to in October are still there. Broken branches from our mammoth maple trees clutter the landscape and everything has a kind of dead look to it. Even the garden, which I can see from the window, and which grows and flourishes all summer is dead, dead, dead.
And then, right in the middle of my cold and old leaves induced misery I saw flutters. Quick darting bodies bouncing from fencepost to bare tree limb. I scooted closer to the window. Oh! A small bird of some sort landed in the big maple where the kids swing hangs in the summer. I tried to keep an eye on the limb where it landed as I grabbed my binoculars – the ones I keep by this window just for times like this.
I swung them up and scanned the trees where I thought the bird sat. And there, tiny feet clinging to the limb, cute as could be, sat a bluebird. A bluebird. Those stunning little creatures I hardly ever see and are so delightful to watch. It’s belly was rosy and it’s back was brilliant blue. My chapped lips curved up in a big grin.
“A bluebird!” I whispered. My voice cracked a bit as I stared at it through the binoculars. And that’s when it crept in. Some shame at being in such a desparing state, but then, thoughts of spring and growing things. Memories of the warm sun and the supple earth that would soon, yes, soon, give way to the prodding of my little hand shovel. I thought of the seeds we’ve been carefully selecting for the garden we’ll soon plant. All of this only a few months away. Nice.
I pulled away from the window and felt slightly less gloomy. There’s life out there, I thought. Waiting to happen – soon. So I made a vow right then. I’ll hope I mouthed to the little bluebird. Hope that my cold goes away, that the snowstorm that’s bearing down on us will come and go quickly. And I’ll hope that a few people will make it to my book signing on Saturday, that Sam sinks a couple of baskets for the team this weekend, and that I have enough voice to sing praises on Sunday. I mean - Somebody sent that bluebird, right?
Hope – it sneaks up on you sometimes. Don’t you just love it?