Monday, March 23, 2015

Robin Promises

The robins are here! Here in the midwest the arrival of the robins is a well-known promise of spring. While this winter has been a piece of cake compared to last year's monstrous snowfall and incredibly low temperatures, we have still spent 5 months in coats, gloves and boots - and I am very ready to shed all the extra clothing and feel the breeze on my skin.

So, when I saw a flock of robins arrive outside my office window last week I felt my hope begin to soar.

The robins like some trees better than others, and I'm told that the flowering crabapples we have planted around the church grounds are some of their favorites.  I think this must be true because there are literally dozens of the funny, fat, red-breasted visitors visible from every window.  The tree outside my office has had as many as 20 birds perched in its branches at times.

Last winter (I may have already shared) I was told that when the robins have walked on fresh snow three times, we could expect spring weather to stay. I paid strict attention, and the prediction held. Yesterday we were visited by the first snow since the arrival of the robins, and I watched them with great interest to see what they would do.

As the snow fell, the birds took refuge in the courtyard, under the eaves. They were close enough to watch with great enjoyment. Any movement from my side of the window would spark a great flurry of activity but soon they would settle back under the eaves and resume their poking and picking in the mulch (where, incidentally, you can see the promise of tulips poking through.) I tried, but never got a shot or video of them good enough to share.

Still, I did record proof that spring is on its way. The robins have left their footprints in the snow so two more snows and we will find our way to spring!

(I should add that I am probably the most impatient person in Blooming Prairie. Most people here are happy to have temperatures in the 40's and to see the snow disappear. I am greedy. I want the mud gone too, and temps that require no jacket.

I miss having everything bursting into bloom as Easter approaches. The irony that I live in Blooming Prairie, home of the Awesome Blossoms, and have no hint of anything getting ready to bloom is not lost on me.)

Perhaps I should see the approach of Easter as I see the robins - as a promise of better things to come.

My Lenten weeks have gone by quickly - filled with soup suppers prepared by my National Youth Gathering group, preparing my little Angel Chorus to sing on Palm Sunday,  rounding up commitments for the Easter breakfast, and leading Communion Instruction for 18 fourth and fifth graders who will celebrate their first communion during Holy Week.

The road to Easter is pretty much the same no matter what is happening outdoors but this photo, posted by my friend Karen in Austin on Facebook last week, reminds me why I am feeling such longing for spring.

The plows have gone by so even though the school is starting two hours late, I should probably leave a few footprints of my own and head to the office.

I'll let you know when spring arrives here, 1100 Miles North!