Spring has always “sprung” to me when I see the birds start to populate my yard, the trees, the air. Usually it’s a bright sunny morning with temps in the 50’s and a cheerful tune in the air. Well, at least, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? But today was different. “Fitting” perhaps, for the season of life I am sitting in right now. Today was the day I first saw birds to welcome in in the spring. I didn’t see blinding beams of sun shining through the clouds, or bright blue hues in the sky. There weren’t puffy white clouds or songbirds singing high in the trees. Instead, Little black birds sat there pecking in the grass, quietly, song-lessly. Above was an overcast sky of shapeless grey clouds. The day held no special “the spring is here! ” announcement full of obvious joy, happiness & excited anticipation. Rather, today, Spring snuck in quietly. It didn’t come as I expected it to. It felt rather appropriate that it snuck in with a bit of solemn sorrow, perhaps even respect for what his spring will bring me. It will bring one year anniversaries of my son’s birth and death. It will lack planning for a first birthday party or a ‘smash cake’. It will lack sunshine beams and rainbows of happiness abounding. It will bring blankets of sorrow and pain churned up all over again. This spring, it may seem like a directionless, shapeless sheet of pain. It will bring milestones I never asked for or wanted. It will bring lonesomeness in parenting a child I’ll never hold again. This spring appropriately sneaks in without songs of jubilee but rather silence of sorrow. It come with small black birds searching for nourishment, rather than red-bellied robins chirping excitedly. There were no “bluebirds & butterflies” as the old song sings.
Today, the seasonal change seemed to reflect a bit of my life for once, and it brought me a bit of comfort. The other seasons since I lost him have come in rushing with excitement and jubilee, casually tossing aside anyone who doesn’t want to ride the wave right into it. Summer came with beach trips, and VBS, and vacations and baseball games. Fall rushed in with leaf-walks and raking leaf piles, and football games. Then came the holidays, rushing in with excited talk of family gatherings, gifts and a little baby named Jesus. It brought excited anticipation for most- but left me straggling behind, racing to catch up, but never making progress. Seasons rushed ahead- and then there was me. Hurting as I saw all who rode the waves in. Feeling forgotten and alone- sometimes even by those who I used to feel were walking beside me. And now comes spring- the season I’ve dreaded for months, and it comes in seemingly respectful, knowing what it will bring for me . And it seems like maybe God is finally showing me His grace in the small things like black birds searching for food and a shapeless grey sky. A quiet breeze welcomes me rather than songbirds and butterflies. Maybe the entrance of spring in this manner would disappoint some, but I can see His compassion and love and understanding in these small things- reminding me that He is there when everyone else is not. And showing me that perhaps spring can be beautiful in a different way this year. It may be in a way that few will see, but those who see it will know of His great love because of it.