Little Signs of Spring #3 (For Mama)

Morning Bouquet-On My Porch (For Mama)

Though she’s been gone for over 22 years, not a day passes that I don’t think of Mama.   Most times it’s the simplest things that trigger my memories—hearing a mockingbird sing or seeing  the dogwood tree illuminated by the morning light.  Or a vase full of the wildflowers I just picked—Mama preferred them over the store bought kind.  Although they never knew her, my children are so like her—dreamy and artistic, yet down to earth and plainspoken.  She would adore them. 

I’ve wondered a lot about where our souls go when we die.   People talk about their loved ones who have passed being in heaven, but really the Bible doesn’t say that we go straight to heaven when we die.  Years ago, on Ariel’s birthday, we were in Duke Gardens when we saw a wood thrush on the path ahead.  It didn’t fly away as we approached, but cocked its head and sang, looking straight at us.  Then it started hopping down the path, looking back at us as though to say Follow me.  So we did.  The wood thrush led us for quite a ways, hopping and looking back, before finally flying up away into the sweet spring morning.  It was a magical moment, made more so by the fact that it was Ariel’s birthday.  I must admit, my first thought was that the soul of my mother was temporarily housed in that wood thrush’s body.  After all, wood thrushes were one of her favorite birds. 

Who can say?  Is it so far-fetched to believe that our souls may reside in many different places before the day comes when our spirits rise to be reunited with our Maker?  And I know, for sure, my Mama would want to spend most of that time flying.  She couldn’t walk for the last five years of her life, so I love to imagine her soaring up far above our earthbound selves or perched singing in her beloved dogwood tree.

So I talk to all the birds I see, just in case, and chase the black cat that skulks about our property stalking birds.   I watch as the birds fly into the firmament, gazing at them until they disappear.  I listen to the wood thrush at dusk, singing its sweet but slightly melancholy song from the highest forest trees.  And I smile, thinking of Mama and relish the thought that she’s singing for us, that’s she’s flying through the clouds.  Waiting for the day that we fly, too.

Happy Mother’s Day to Mama.  And to all Mamas, near and far. 

And to all Mamas in this world…or the next.

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9 Responses to “Little Signs of Spring #3 (For Mama)”

  1. CountryDew Says:

    What a sweet tribute! I’m sure your Mom has wings of some fashion. Happy Mother’s Day.

  2. luckypennies Says:

    I’ll always wish I could have known her. But I feel like I know her through you.

    Happy Mother’s Day! I love you dearly and truly.

  3. bluemountainmama Says:

    happy mothers day to you, too, beth! what a lovely tribute to your mother. you seem to have gotten those artistic, dreamy genes, also.

    i’ll take wildflowers over a store-bought bouquet anyday. i think i would have liked your mama. :)

  4. colleen Says:

    I love the photo and the thoughts about your mom were so touching. After my brother Dan died, I swore he looked out at me from my dog Jasmine’s eyes for a few seconds. It startled me. And then whenever I saw two birds fly off together I thought of Jim and Dan.

    And did you read The Black Feather? http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/2006/06/the_black_feather.html

  5. Going Crunchy Says:

    A beautiful, beautiful post.

    I also think that God may give us parts of heaven that would be of our own.

    I’ve heard that several cultures believe that part of a person’s spirit can come back to you in an animal. My dog for about ten years carried the name Abagail Ellen with the middle name for my college roomate that was killed. (She was Abby…….from Dear Abby as she had some many problems when I found her scraggly self) My cat for years and years was Zandalee Louise with Louise for my Granny. Just made me feel like maybe there was a bit there, or at least invited.

    And Happy Mothers Day to you too o’wonderful Mama.

  6. Judy Says:

    Just blog hopping and stopped to read yours. Loved the tribute to your mother. I also believe those who have passed on are among us in some fashion or another. Thanks for a great read. Judy

  7. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Beautiful post, lovely tribute. I believe the spirits of those we love appear all around us and watch over us. When Owen was a newborn I missed my grandma dearly and then I noticed Owen looking off over my shoulder and smiling. I became convinced she saw Grandma, escpecially after she smiled at a photo of her once.

  8. Decorina Says:

    My mum has died three years ago. The pain does not pass. I hope that we will meet in heavens…

  9. vinnie Says:

    what a beautiful post. I believe you are a lovely mama. I of the best mama in this world.

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