It was 7am when I stood on the back deck breaking up ice in the birdbath so I could refill it with fresh water for the little creatures who come to visit. I then filled a new feeder with a special treat. This year, thanks to my friend Susan, I discovered dried mealworms and we’ve been blessed with an abundance of bluebirds who swoop in multiple times a day for a snack.
Looking up at the old ash tree that hosts a variety of feathered friends (and an occasional raccoon family), I took a deep breath and was instantly transported back in time by the call of a mourning dove. Her gentle cooing brought me to my first visit to Miraval Resorts just outside of Tucson, Arizona. I was there for a site meeting in preparation for a new in-person retreat and the drive from the airport already had me smitten with the land. Miraval appeared like a soothing oasis in the middle of a beautiful desert.
The general manager, who would become a dear friend, had booked me into a cozy room that overlooked the Catalina Mountains. After a long trip and a busy year, I was grateful and delighted to be there, ready for a restful few days of self-care.
At sunrise, after a long night’s sleep, I lay in bed listening to the call of a mourning dove just outside my bedroom window. The soft murmuring sound brought tears to my eyes and I started to cry. It was a bittersweet cry, the kind that sneaks up on you when you’re finally present to yourself, feeling tired yet content and longing for a life you miss because you’ve been so distracted by busyness and responsibility.
Today, standing in the light of the rising sun listening to the dove’s call, I felt that same wistful desire but this time it was a longing for something different – connection, the chance to visit with loved ones without worry, the joy and ease of dinners filled with laughter and good conversation, and a return to the self-care retreats I enjoy hosting by the sea.
It’s coming, I tell myself as I look out over the land. Buds are bursting at the ends of branches, red-breasted robins scurry across the lawn, a young rabbit nibbles on the new shoots sprouting beneath the magnolia tree.
There are signs of spring everywhere…
Yes, it’s coming and we just need to wait a little longer…