Isn’t amazing how things work out? Every spring, no matter what, the lilacs come out and every spring just as the blooms are fading along comes a rain or storm to wipe out the last vestiges of their aroma. Every spring a short window opens when we should be able to find morels, and every spring I struggle to fit into that window.
Every year people look for the robins to proclaim the arrival of spring and sometimes, like this year, they come early. I always thought their travels were related to the sun’s position but now I realize it is more the temperature that brings them north. However, we sometimes, many times, see robins in January. So perhaps we should wait until the redwing blackbirds show up in the highway ditches staking out their territory, and announcing their readiness for mates to welcome spring.
|Turkey Vulture gathering - see on the fence posts?|
As for me I wait until I see that first black feather friend soaring up above in search of prey to truly count the coming of spring. Turkey vultures are the true harbingers of springtime and all it means to a winter-weary world. Their funky red, wrinkled heads watch for the tiniest movement in the grasses, stoop to clearing the highways of road kill when necessary and dress the skies with their graceful ride upon the air.
Like the elves from Middle Earth, my cats are drawn to the west it seems. Too many times I’ve seen its attraction pull them from my life. First it was Lando who wanted only to go, just go somewhere, anywhere, on his last day on earth. When I set him down outside for a bit of fresh air he headed west. What his eyes saw in that direction I’ll never know but west was the only thing he wanted at that moment.
Pixel, her brain wracked with cancer, alternated between twitching from seizures to circling directionless to heading west in the yard outside the vet school. She’d lost all control of her poor little body yet knew that she wanted to head west. Bluebird, thin and weak from the cancer in her body wandered the house but always ended up at the back door, the western door of the house. She’d never been outside in her life except in a carrier yet she knew she wanted to go west in her last days.
|Rainbow as a baby|
Now Rainbow, failing kidneys and drug influenced mind, heads west to that door as well. What is it she yearns to reach? What secret world awaits her in the end? Or is it a beginning? Will I see that day; will I see them again someday in the west? Is that how things work out?
I don’t like the phrase “the circle of life” because it includes death. Maybe we should talk instead of the cycle of life; a cycle in which we eventually head west, like the elves, to another world, a better world where we can spend eternity with those we love.
(As I write this Rainbow lies on my lap unable to walk or do much more than lift her head. Tomorrow I may have to help her head west if she doesn’t recover but for now we’re together praying for a miracle.)