Over the course of the last few weeks, I mentioned to my siblings that they shouldn't be surprised if they have a sense of our mother's presence.
Since she passed away a few weeks ago, at least one brother mentioned such an experience, felt in his yard as he was cutting some flowers.
Mine came today, as I was in the midst of an annual spring ritual. Quite a few years ago, my family and I were on one of our many trips to Italy. My mother and I were in a little pottery shop just off the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Both of us purchased ceramic plaques of Mary, with the intention of putting them on our patios. Mom got one in the style of Della Robbia, glazed and colorful, while I chose the one above, just glazed terra-cotta.
Yesterday was a beautiful and warm day here in Maryland. I was super busy, and didn't have time to take things out of storage and prepare my little retreat patio just outside my kitchen door. I made it a priority this morning, and, although the flower pots are not ready yet, the chair cushions have returned, along with my little Florentine Madonna.
As I sat with my coffee, doing a little reading for a course, I took a pause, listening to the many chirping birds, eager for the seed in my bird feeder. I felt my mother with me, sensing she was just as happy as I was that spring has returned, with all the new life and growth that comes with it.
My mom's roses are already blooming out in California, and mine have yet to leaf out. Spring comes a bit more slowly here, but the anticipation is the same no matter where we are.
I hope you'll be able to take some time this week and have your own little ritual marking the change of seasons. It's such a beautiful time of year, and loss should not keep us from experiencing it. To me, it's a sign from God that life goes on, and we are well taken care of.
Now, if I could just get back into my exercise routine....