This morning I was on the Metro-North train to visit my family for Easter. Two little boys, twins, got on the train with their mom, who looked exhausted and worn out, with a couple of new toys. Another woman walked by – she was one of those classic old New York women who you know from her tone of voice have lived in this big city for the better part of their lives. I am sure she talks to everyone she meets as if she’s known them forever, and given all she’s lived through, she’s entitled to state any and all of her opinions as fact. These women also exactly what to say and when to say – their timing and level of appropriateness is impeccable.
“Where’d you get those toys?” she asked the two children. “Mom or the Easter Bunny?”
“The Easter Bunny.”
“Huh. You know Moms are much better than the Easter Bunny. You can’t trust a rabbit but you can always trust you mother.”
The mother smiled, grateful and confused. The boys looked at her with surprise.
“What if I know the rabbit?” one of the boys asked.
“And if I can’t trust a rabbit, can I trust my cat?” the other boy asked.
“Well cats are tricky, too. Even mine. And I guess you can trust a rabbit if you know him, but my money’s on your mother.”
And with that very simple statement, she was gone. When I overhear conversations like this, I sometimes wonder if I’m witnessing a divine moment. Maybe that woman is some angel who showed up right when this mother needed her most. It’s possible that I watched too many episodes of Touched by an Angel with my own mom when I was little. It’s also possible that I so much want to believe in the divine in some form that I’m willing to tell myself these elaborate stories as if they are proof.
Springtime does this to us. I’m having a hard time remembering the last winter that lasted this long and seemed this cold and unrelenting. And I like cold weather and snow, thick sweaters and boots. But this Easter, I’m really ready to wish it a fond farewell, hoping it doesn’t rear its head until December.
I’m ready to see some new life sprout up from the Earth. I’m ready for New York to transform itself with flowering trees and sidewalk cafes. I’m ready for a little bit of the divine, or even seemingly divine, to touch our lives again and bring us some hope that we are moving forward and evolving, and the most powerful vehicle for that kind of message is in watching nature take on different hues and textures. I’d like to see all this hard work we’ve been doing during this cold winter come to fruition through a rebirth of heart and mind and spirit.