A Spring Bride



   Spring arrived at Covenant Woods the last week of March. The birds were back, singing and chirping a cheerful soundtrack to the sunrise. The wood bees got busy on the porch railing, making homes for themselves in the two-by-fours. Blimpian in comparison to their nectar-collecting cousins, they hovered outside the porch door as if guarding their territory.
   A mockingbird that had been sitting on the “Handicapped Parking” sign flew over and pecked around on the ground outside the apartment for a moment, before leaping through the railing’s lattice work and onto the porch. He seemed stunned, as though he had somehow imprisoned himself. He nervously examined the railing and the lattice, looking for a way out. Fascinated, I leaned forward in the wheelchair for a better look. The chair creaked, and the bird, embarrassed to have been caught in his silly game, fled as he had arrived, through the lattice.
   Trees that had stood naked since November were now clothed in leaves. The dogwoods and cherry trees had donned blossoms, nature’s exuberant declaration of renewed life. But one cherry tree seemed oblivious to the changing seasons. Its bare branches unadorned, like lines on an aging face, or veins crisscrossing the emaciated hand of an elderly woman.
   There were blossoms on a few lower branches, a stylish accessory the tree clutched to assure herself that time had not passed her by. Then, on a Saturday morning, beneath a bright sun and a cloudless sky, the tree appeared in a stunning white gown, a beautiful arboreal bride.


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