Mornings are grey now

Black leaves litter a sad street

On our walk to school

 

My son and I have been biking or walking to school now for nearly four years now. I remember when he was younger–pre-k– often he would point out the cardinals he saw in the trees along the sidewalk. With that high-pitched toddler voice, he’d inform me if it was a girl or a boy based on its color. “Look, mom, a boy cardinal!” he’d say if it flashed bright red against the green or grey of the trees. 

Truth is, I kinda miss that little guy. I see him a little in the older, wiser kid I have now. The one, who on our walks to school, tells me about the boss he defeated in whatever video game or what type of fishing pole, I, a novice should start off with. The one who might, every so often, spot a bird in the trees and still remembers the difference between male and female cardinals. But the really little guy still feels gone. As much as I love and enjoy who he is now, I miss the toddler. I even miss the baby. He’s been gone for a while now.

Today is cold and grey. Yesterday’s rain has turned the leaves black in the street. We didn’t notice any birds this morning, but they say cardinals appear to remind you of the presence of a lost loved one, and I thought painting one was appropriate for today. I know there’s a future day out there where I’ll miss who he was today.

I’ll admit my haiku is pretty dreary. But the painting’s not. I know the grey winter streets we walk will soon burst with magenta azaleas and bright green leaves. Everything’s a season. I’ve learned its okay to both grieve and rejoice. I’ve learned from the birds of the air, the changing trees that line our walk to school.

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