My spirits were low the other afternoon as I walked my dog Bella. Glancing up into a tree almost barren of leaves, I noticed a flock of robins flittering about. Robins aren’t usually a bird you see this time of year. You’re more likely to spot a turkey or a turtledove, so I was pleasantly surprised. Instantly my mood lightened, filling my heart with expectation because to me they are symbolic of hope and good things to come in new seasons in life.
This sighting reminded me of something I had written one early spring day not too long ago:
As I pulled into my driveway that gloomy March evening after a particularly bad day at work, it came to mind that I hadn’t seen my first robin of spring. Sighting that first robin each year was a ritual when I was growing up. As a kid, the hunt for the elusive, red-breasted bird began every January, even though it would be months until a sighting. My mother was usually the first to see one and point it out. “Look in the yard,” she would say as she peered excitedly out the window, “it’s the first robin of spring. No more winter – spring has sprung!”
Then I remembered the day I went into the hospital to give birth to my daughter Megan on February 27. I was feeling nervous and anxious until I glanced down and saw my first little robin of spring, picking at the ground outside of the hospital door. It seemed way too early to see one, but it filled me with hope and calmed my fear of giving birth. It gave me the strength I needed to deliver my beautiful baby.
So on that cold, dank evening of unusual glumness, all I could think about was retreating to an early bedtime. It was just as well with the “woe is me” attitude I was harboring. Tomorrow’s another day, I thought. “Thank you, Lord, for helping me through a rough one,” was the only prayer I could whisper before I feel asleep.
The next morning I lifted the blinds in my bedroom and glanced out onto the front lawn in disbelief. I saw not one but a whole flock of robins! Never had I seen so many together at one time. Spring had sprung, and hope was in the air once more.
When those bad days come along as they always do, keep your bird-watching binoculars focused because that red, red robin will come bob, bob, bobbing along before you know it.