Monday, May 30, 2016

The Photo I Didn't Take, II

I'm sure that I took note of blue jays before my maternal grandmother died last summer. They're such a common bird on the east coast and with their bright feathers + loud squawking they are truly hard to miss. But I don't remember feeling any sort of way about them before.

After Mimi died last summer, I thought of her constantly. She's the only person whose last breath I was there to witness. It was an intense few days leading up to her passing, and I felt like a different person afterwards. At home, Heather's dad was in the hospital and she was spending long hours there every night. I found myself spending a lot of time on the back deck, watching the sun go down and star gazing. During the day, I kept finding that I would synonymously think of Mimi and look out the window and see a blue jay. The first time it happened, it felt like the snap of a rubber band on my wrist, a reminder of her. Each following time I caught a glimpse of a blue jay, it was a comforting sign, a message from home when you're missing it most.

This morning, I woke up early, before 6am. My heart was anxiously pounding and I felt a little sad. Nothing dramatic, just real life. I have an early flight tomorrow, and as much as I do it, I hate plane travel.

Despite my anxiety, or because of it, I forced myself to unroll my yoga mat onto the back deck. Stretching out my sore, popping joints (aging is tough, y'all) I watched the sun come up over the houses to the east. Each time I raised my arms overhead in mountain pose, I watched the little puffy clouds appear and disappear above me.

As I finished and leaned down to grab my meditation pillow, I felt a bird swoop over my head. I watched it land and settle in the tree just beyond our fence. The body was in shadow, but then it spun on the branch to face the rising sun. His little white chest and blue cap were so perfectly illuminated, it was like a lightbulb went off in his belly. It was a moment I wish I could have captured, but know would never translate.

Of course, it was my trusty friend, sending me that secret knowing sign.

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