With return of spring, return of joy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

Isn’t it amazing how springtime can affect us?

I saw it had rained during the night or early morning when my dog Little Girl bounced down the wet back steps and ran outside, picking her way through the grass. The lawn looked as if it had been washed and turned green overnight.

I took my toasted blueberry muffins, hot tea, and meds to the table on the sun porch and opened the blinds. As I ate the muffins and sipped the tea, I noticed my snowball bush was budding and a few blooms had popped out on a couple of azalea bushes.

Two birds suddenly hopped from the underbrush near the back yard fence. Although I could not see their markings, I recognized from their size and the way they upended leaves on the ground that they were thrashers. In summers past, thrashers often visited the yard, taking dust baths close to the patio during dry spells. A couple of squirrels scurried near them, and then made their way up and down a pecan tree. I believe they were probably young ones from the way they bounced playfully from one tree trunk to another, and took off across the yard.

For years, my husband and I ate breakfast and had our daily devotionals on the sun porch. In those days, we saw various birds come and go at the bird feeders we kept well stocked. I especially enjoyed the chipmunks’ visits on the patio where we tossed handfuls of seed for their and the birds’ enjoyment. We did not intend the grain for the squirrels, but they helped themselves anyway.

The little chippies filled their jaws until they bulged, then ran off and disappeared in their underground nests to deposit their loot. In a short time, they rushed right back to scoop up more. They were so consistent you could actually time their returns. We occasionally saw one go through a vent under our house, so we knew that some had built their underground homes there. My husband told me several times he hoped the house did not cave in because of the chipmunks’ excavations.

We also enjoyed many hours watching the antics of the hummingbirds we lured to their colorful little feeders every year.

It has been some time since I have opened the blinds on the sun porch when I have breakfast. Since my husband’s passing, I have neglected all my bird feeders. I never scatter grain for the birds and critters on the patio. Somehow, without him, I just lost heart, but Thursday morning’s early springtime glimpse at the back yard brought back pleasant memories. I now resolve to hang a new feeder for the regulars who visited and bring my hummingbird feeder out of storage. I will be on a quest to locate my bird book and have it handy for reference again.

I am thankful to God that springtime is returning a joy to my life that had slipped out of reach.