Spring arrived in a flurry of flakes and in ice crusted to the windshield when I went to pick up the girls from school.
It came to me in a broken off tree branch found and gathered while walking Dewey.
Unexpectedly, catching me off guard, the words Happy First Day of Spring! called to me from my child’s school communication notebook.
The words Due to bad weather schools will be closed tomorrow. flashed on the screen of my phone.
Spring finds me nostalgic and with more space for story. The broken tree branch with its tiny buds brought to mind a memory long forgotten, yet recently stirred. It prompted me to collect, bring home, and place into water not only that branch but two other similar small ones.
Long ago, a little girl received a letter in the mail from her grandpa M. In it she was reminded that spring was on the way, and that it was the perfect time to be watching the tree outside of the living room window for buds. She was encouraged to choose a branch to observe and sketch daily or every few days. This process would help her to slow down and notice Spring’s arrival. The little girl felt special and seen.
The memory remained tucked away in my mind until I was walking and noticed the broken-off branch. I remained curious as to why I would be so interested in the buds opening and why I would want to bring it home to put into water and continue to watch when the memory came flooding back.
It helped me understand why I love the tree in my neighbor’s yard that can be seen from both my bedroom and TV room window where I often sit to think. Lately I have been focusing on the branches and sketching them as I ponder. I understand more why I love it in the fall. The changing branches remind me of the gift of seasons and the passing of time.
Thank you for the gift of a memory, Grandpa. Your words made a big impression on a little girl.