Topped Tulips

Spring has always meant renewal for me – a time of new growth and baby things and the smell of blossoms. But I found myself feeling this deep sense of loss today as I drove the backroads to take one last look at the tulip fields.

I remembered driving around with my centenarian dad in the car just a few years ago – sharing the sights of Skagit County with him. I remembered chauffering Mom around to her appointments – and I remembered that day when she was trying to remember all the birds she’d seen so she could tell her friends about them: “Trumpeter swans and snow geese and herons.” I remembered the swans that were in that field at the beginning of April, spreading their wings for me. And I remembered the waves of snow geese that were here just weeks ago.

And now the tulips are topped, and the swans and snow geese have started their journey back north, and Moz and Dad are no longer here with me in their human bodies. And for a time today I felt this deep ache when I thought about the loss of all these beautiful forms.

Of course, the essence of all these things – the tulips and the swans and the snow geese, and Mom and Dad – is still with me. And I’m going to consciously wrap myself up in the love and joy and beauty and rejoice. But sometimes… sometimes there’s an ache.

topped tulips stand stark
trumpeter swans are gone now
April brings mourning

All That Is Gone

tulip petals in the lawn
no more trumpeter swans
my parents have moved on
spring is supposed
to be the dawn
of seasons, new growth,
lambs and fawns,
but today I’m remembering
all that is gone
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“…our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Topped Tulips in Skagit County, Washington. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

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