"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

By Best Day: Anticipation

By on December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Meadowlark on a barn roof.

By Annette Byrd

I had waited for this day all winter, through the dark days and long nights, through the piles of snow which, although when fresh and cold, shone like diamonds scattered across a robe of brilliant white ermine, had since turned the appearance of old, worn, rags —patchy and yellowed.

As the day approached I waited ever more expectantly, hoping it might be today and when today was not “THE Day,” I grew tense with anticipation that tomorrow would certainly fulfill my expectation.

It was the same every year.

I dutifully noted the distance between Dec. 21 and March 20; winter was supposed to end and spring begin but I knew it was never that simple. Spring rarely started on a calendar day.

It certainly did not arrive with the robins — they could not be depended on. Sometimes they showed up in the middle of winter and one year a few even stayed all winter long. No, there was only one sure sign that spring had actually arrived.

Now the day was close — it had to be. Surely he would not disappoint me this year. He never had yet.

And so, each day as I performed the daily duties of living a part of my brain and certainly at least one ear waited and listened, straining to hear the arrival of spring.

March 20 came and went. It was not “THE Day” even though my calendar said — in small print — “Vernal (Spring) Equinox.” If this was supposed to be the first day of spring it definitely was not spring at our house.

Early on the 21st, before I had breakfast, before I headed out for my morning walk — at exactly 7:30 a.m., I stopped everything as my ear caught a distant sound. No matter how faint, I always heard it.

I rushed outside. There it was again, now much louder — that clear, bell-like tone — so pure, so rich: like liquid gold flowing through the air.

Once again the Meadowlark had returned. He proclaimed in a vibrant trill that rose and fell in unblemished glory that this was “THE Day,” delivering his unequivocal message that spring had now truly arrived.

My heart leapt, suddenly full of joy and hope for a fresh start. The earth would again loosen the death-grip of winter and be born again as seeds sprouted and blossoms bloomed and daylight increased. Life would spring forth afresh. There was no doubt. None whatsoever.

Whether he came early or late the Meadowlark never failed. When he sang, spring came.

And for me — it was once again the BEST DAY!

Annette Byrd went to Chelan High School, lived in Stehekin, worked for KYSN radio in the early years, and was the East Wenatchee librarian for six years until she married and moved to Elgin, OR.

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