I had my window open full last night and through the window traveled so many wonderful smells, sights, and sounds. The cool breeze was timely as I have begun to have some night hot-flashes by the hand of chemo. The breeze cooled me off quickly and so the heat was fully mitigated by Mother Nature. Bless her! I don’t want to think about how this is going to feel in July and August – but – I remind myself, “one day at a time”.
It is indeed spring. I can tell it’s spring even at night. A whole new world opens up when darkness descends on the pond. The air is so fresh. I made a point of filling my lungs several times with what seemed to be almost “green” air. It was clean. It was healing and it was full of hope. I pulled back the sheets to let it’s life energy fill me up and heal me. Like a mother tucking in a baby at night, I felt it blanket me with tender comfort. What a delight. How fortunate I am to be so close to this gift from God.
The view was different from David’s room than it is from my own. We both have rooms at the back of the house – away from the hustle and bustle of the road and pedestrian traffic. I looked out and saw the Big Dipper. My Dad taught me to identify that dipper so many years ago as we used to walk home from the bonfire pit situated in the middle of the forest by Auntie Doris and Uncle Russ’s cabin. My aunt and uncle came from Toronto every summer to spend time on our property. Russ built the cabin. It was rustic, but with some pretty innovative additions for the time including a propane stove and refrigerator. Every week-end Mom, Dad, and myself would walk on the dirt road the lead from our main house at the front of the property to the cabin in the woods. There were no neighbours around for miles so there was no light pollution at all. As a child, I didn’t much like that. Walking through the dark woods was scary – except when I walked with my parents. My parents were never afraid. They enjoyed the peace and quiet of the night. The whipper-will would sing it’s song at that time and my dad would try to replicate the sound back to reach out to the bird – so to speak. The evening was spent together with family by the fire singing songs, dancing, and telling stories. I have such wonderful memories of this time. On the way home, we’d look up to the stars. There would be so many of them – nothing to interfere with the view. It was spectacular. I learned about the stars and constellations from my parents. Dad was a bit of an expert as he had learned about astronomy through pilot training. I remember that same Big Dipper – the one that hung in the night sky last night. It pointed north. It always guided us home. I wondered, last night, if my parents were with me, once more – holding my hand as I went to sleep?
The most poignant reminder of spring last night, though, had to be the ruckus of the spring peepers. Their sharp, shrill peep is difficult to miss. It is their mating call – a call to life. It is an invitation to mate and to bring out the next generation. Spring. New. A most beautiful song. I have this same song on a tape recording I made more than 40 years ago. My dad and I would wander to the back of the property in spring just to hear them. There was a pond at the back of our property and so, yes ,once again I walked through the dark forest to get there. It was such a great walk with my Dad. Just the two of us. And our mission was to be deafened by the spring peepers, to record the song, and to bring the song back to Mom on the tape recorder so she could hear. I was transported in time last night by that sound.
Yes, night time is wonderful when you feel well – and I was fortunate to not feel nausea, I was not restless, I was not depressed. I became one with spring. Like the peepers, the night spring air seemed to bring a sense of joy, youth, and healing. I soaked it all in. I didn’t want to sleep. It was one of those moments you want to capture and hold forever. I lingered as long as I could until, finally, spring slumber took over and I felt my parents’ hand slip into mind to walk me home for the night.