Last week I sat with a man talking about his eight-month-old son—his antics, amazing accomplishments at his early age, how much he loves him. Suddenly the dad stared off with a pensive expression. “I told him he’s growing too fast,” he said.
All I could do was smile gently and nod. He’s right. They all grow too fast.
Loss is on my mind this beautiful spring day, when, finally, it’s warm enough to be outside without a down jacket. I’m on my enclosed front porch, my cat Blue curled asleep in the chair beside me. The sun is shining, birds are chirping. A woodpecker is climbing the trunk of the catalpa tree, making that familiar tapping sound. Bees harvest pollen from the bright yellow forsythia blooming just outside my window.
I once read an essay about spring being the “treacherous season.” I wish I knew the author who wrote of vulnerability—tiny baby birds, blind puppies, toddlers walking outside for the very first time. All tragedy needs is a hard wind, a fast rain—a moment’s distraction. Just weeks ago a late snow blanketed my tender lilac buds.