My general philosophy when it comes to nature is this: For those of us who are kind, mindful and gentle to nature, nature will help and heal us when we need it most. I truly believe this.
The last couple days have been so hard for me. I don't need to tell you the details because you can imagine. Not only do I have my own grief to deal with, but I also have that of my children. The loss is overwhelming.
(This photo was taken in mid-May, right after Hubbell's emergency surgery....that's why his underbody is shaved. Luckily, our Kenzie Snooter ~ who lives with my parents ~ got to visit Hubbell a couple of times in his last few months.)
But then there's this....
An hour or so after Hubbell passed, I needed to get out of the house. I was overcome. We took the girls out for ice cream and a trip to the playground. While Sophie and I were playing at the top of a large play structure, Sophie suddenly called out to me. When I looked, there was a beautiful black and blue butterfly fluttering around very close to her. As I watched, it flew over to me and almost landed on my nose. The butterfly came within inches of both of us. For several minutes, it fluttered and darted around us. As Sophie said, "it's like the butterfly is playing with us". Well said. It did feel that way. And my heart lightened just a tad.
The next morning I dropped the girls off at their summer camps. I couldn't face going home without Hubbell there. I decided to stop at the pet store to buy my little Scouter Puff some bird treats. After I parked the car, I checked my phone. The crematory had left a message telling me that they would like to deliver Hubbell to me that afternoon. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I decided to go buy the bird treats before calling them back (since I knew I'd likely be upset). When I returned to the car and opened the door, there was a perfect goose feather laying right in the middle of my seat. I stopped dead in my tracks. My body was covered in goose bumps. I can't describe the feeling I had. It was a gift. That's all I knew. It was so overwhelming, in a very good way. I held it close to my heart and said, "Thank you, Hubbell". As I drove around, wandering really, in an effort to avoid going home, I continued to look down at the feather.....amazed. Totally amazed. I know it hadn't been there when I left the car because I had reached back in to grab my phone. I couldn't have sat on it because it would have been crushed or broken (bootylicious as I am!). That feather was comforting me in a big way. It still is.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to check the mail. As I turned back toward the house, I noticed two mourning doves sitting on my front porch. Very peaceful and still. I stood in the driveway and watched them for a while. They just sat and looked at me for several minutes. Then they flew right by me. Those birds brightened what was a really hard afternoon for me.
When Clara awoke from her nap yesterday (her first nap without Hubbell by her crib ~ he napped with her every single day until his last), I opened the door to find her yelling "tweet, tweet, tweet" to me. She then put her tiny little finger to her mouth to ask me to "sshhhhh". We were both quiet and, sure enough, there was a very loud tweeting coming from right outside. I took her out of her crib and she ran to the window and started pulling back the shade. I opened it for her. And there, right on a branch outside her window, there was a sweet little bird singing loudly. I felt my heart growing warm. That bird had helped to distract my sweet baby.
I don't really know how to end this post. I'm just writing because writing is cathartic for me. And my grieving is only beginning.
I've thought a lot today about my favorite poem, by Robert Frost.
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
but only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So Dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
My Hubbell.....he was Golden in every single way!
For those of you who left such sweet and caring messages/comments for me yesterday, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The comfort your words provided is immeasurable. I'm a lucky girl.