I’ve always loved the snow. I’ve written about winter many times and by now you should have a pretty good idea that it is by far my favorite season of the year. I’m not sure why it so gently pulls on my heart-strings but when I see the snow falling to the ground it always takes me back to a time long ago. My childhood.
Growing up in South Bend, IN, there was always an abundance of snow from November through February. Sometimes even into March. The snow was always piled high everywhere you went. It lined the streets and highways, which back then were mainly two-laned. It covered bushes and tree branches and lined yards throughout our neighborhood. Which in the winter would morph into a snowy blanket of soft white. A true winter wonderland.
It’s the beginning of March. March 3rd. As I sit in my cozy, warm kitchen looking out through the ceiling to floor window lined walls that surround me, snow if gently falling to the ground. It’s a very light snowfall. A snowfall that movies are made of. The ground is already blanketed and the grass is covered. So, the snow falling now is the icing on the cake.
As I look out at it and write, something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. I turn to look at the tall evergreens that line the entire side of our yard and spot a bright red cardinal. It spot’s my movement as I walk over to the glass door. I stand there for a moment and look at it. Soaking in its beauty. It turns its head and from where I stand, it seems to be looking back at me. paralyzed. Both of us are completely still. We continue to spy each other for a few moments. And then, just like that, it fly’s off. I watch it as it quickly streaks through the sky. Over the top of the neighboring homes. Over the tops of the trees. Into the sky. And then just like that, it’s gone again.
It’s been said that when you see a cardinal, it’s a sign of someone you’ve loved and lost coming back to visit you. Last month marked two years since I lost my beautiful mom. Taken from us all so suddenly and too soon. I’ve written about her Here and Here. And, she’s sprinkled all throughout my blog.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her. She was the reason I started to write. Well, one of the reasons. My dear friend Bonnie, who I wrote about Here – was the person who encouraged me to start writing. But it was my mom who was my biggest cheerleader. She would say to me, “Peggy, you need to write a book. I’ll be your publicist!” And then we’d laugh about it together. Over the phone. If it was in the morning, we’d laugh together while on the phone and chat over a pot of coffee. If it was in the evening, we’d spend our long distance time together over the phone, both with wine in hand.
She was such a treasure to me. I realize that not everyone in this world is blessed to have a true friendship with their family, but I was given the special blessing of camaraderie with my Mom. We had a very special bond. I miss her deeply.
So, the red cardinal came to visit me today. As we sat there, frozen in time, looking at one another, I could hear the distant voice in my heart of my mom speaking to me – “Peggy, here’s that beautiful snowfall you love so much.”