Spring has officially arrived at our house. The arrival of spring isn’t signified by “springing ahead” with the clocks, the budding of flowers, or even the calendar announcing it’s the first day of spring. To my family, the occurrence that signals spring the most is the arrival of the little fluttering beauties, better known as hummingbirds.
Darold and I were having our morning coffee one day last week when he glanced out our dining room window. He smiled and announced, “They’re here!” I didn’t have to ask who had arrived, I knew by his reaction. First one hummingbird fluttered around the windows, searching for Darold’s secret recipe, then a second one arrived. The recipe isn’t complicated to make, whatever amount of water is used, the amount of sugar should be tripled. If it sounds like a sickeningly sweet concoction, I think so too, but the hummingbirds think it’s pure perfection.
When my mom was alive, she and Darold would anxiously await the first arrival of the tiny birds. It was a race between the two, who would be graced by a visit from the winged wonders first, giving that person bragging rights to being the hummingbird whisperer. Usually in March, Mom would begin asking me if Darold had seen any of the birds yet. When they did visit our house first, I often wanted to fib to her and tell her that they hadn’t arrived, giving her the victory. But, I knew she wouldn’t appreciate a false win, and she often told me as a kid that when I lied, she could tell because my eyes grew as big as saucers.
It’s a bittersweet time now for us, when the hummingbirds arrive. We are always happy to see them, but there’s the perpetual stab to the heart of missing someone that you hoped would never have to leave, but logic told you that wasn’t how life worked.
With Mother’s Day approaching, the second toughest holiday of all for me since Mom left, the first being my birthday, I waver between smiling at the memories of the past wonderful Mother’s Days, and wanting to ignore the celebration completely. Maybe I’ll spend the day sitting on my front porch, watching the little gems flit around my flower baskets, maybe I’ll give into the inclination to stay in bed all day, maybe I’ll act like a grown up and actually do something to celebrate with the rest of my family.
One thing I know for sure, I better take good care of the tiny birds, make sure their feeders are filled with the perfected sugar water and keep their flowers watered that they so love to play in when they are done feeding. I feel I have an angel in Heaven now, watching to make sure I never forget the fluttering beauties. I promise to take good care of them Mom, and no, I’m not saying that with saucer eyes.