The mourning dove couple is back in their old nest on the porch. Drinking my coffee this morning, I hear them cooing and immediately feel happy--spring is here!!--before worrying that this is way too early for mourning doves, and spring should not be here. It's barely mid-February.
You said the same thing last year, my husband tells me. I go back to check my journal, and sure enough, he's right. Sort of. It was the end of February when the mourning dove couple returned to their nest. I feel slightly less worried now. If we are all hurtling toward some cataclysmic climate change cliff, is it wrong to be grateful that it also comes with cooing mourning doves and a few sunny warm days in February?
I read the news and despair. I stop reading the news and feel guilty. Shouldn't I know what's going on? A friend stops over spur of the moment and we walk around my neighborhood, marveling at how lovely the weather is. After she leaves, I am restless. I try to write some more in the book I'm writing. I try to read some more in the book I'm reading. I give up on both and take another walk, this time with the dog.
She trots along with her tail wagging, pausing every now and then to wriggle on her back in the grass. She loves spring. I don't have the heart to tell her it's winter. At the toddler story time, a little girl shows up early with her dad. She couldn't wait for this, the dad tells me. She's been talking about it all week.
Me too, I say, and I laugh because I realize I actually mean it.
The little girl whispers something to her father and he nods and says, She wants to know if you're going to do the Wheels on the Bus song.
We sure are! I say, and the little girl squeals and claps her hands. Later, when the room fills up with kids and their grown-ups, we all squeal and clap our hands.
How are we blessed with this kind of happiness, the kind that delights in silly songs and wriggles on its back in the sun? How did we ever lose it?
How do we remember and hold on?