I wonder how it is sometimes for things underground. Is it dark and cold and difficult to climb the staircase to the light? Do they claw and scratch their way forward? The roots and the steams and buds of spring flowers... Do they think about giving up? Do they cry because the journey is difficult only to burst through the muddy earth in triumph in the end? Or are they more like sleeping children, simply uncurling from a long and satisfying nap, lifting themselves to the sky and smiling at the sun?
I was working in the yard the other day and I saw an amazingly huge (and disgusting) nightcrawler making its way through the mud, going who knows where except maybe to find another place to dig back down into the ground... I pointed out to him that the robins were back so if he knew what was good for him he'd get his ass back to the abyss as fast as he could.
I saw the first robin on a snowy morning a couple of weeks ago. It had been warm a day or two prior and despite the "dangerous squall" going on around us this robin and at least a dozen others were in my front yard shoving their noses into the ground and serving as a beacon of hope for all of us tired, worn winter warriors.
Seems that spring has all but arrived and with it, some kind of cautious hope that life will begin to become less tedious, more warm, more welcoming to the sun coming up over the trees each morning. As personally I am still in the midst of struggle and uncertainty in life, I find a little bit of comfort in the shift. It is the "well at least" scenario. Well, at least it isn't snowing. Well, at least the days are getting longer. Well, at least the early bloomers are showing themselves...
Here is to hope for the rest of us, still ascending the staircase on our hands and knees at this point. Still seeking the light, knowing it is there somewhere and that we will reach it somehow, someday.
Here is to still holding onto hope even as we have to stop and rest, then shake ourselves awake and go a little further. Moment by moment, inch by inch, pulling ourselves forward without even really knowing why.
Here is to the stirring and the first scent of spring rain. We can smell it even underground and we follow it, thirsty for it, knowing it will nourish us and wash away the grime and heal the bruises of our lives.
At some point, on a robin's wing, we will be warmed by the light.