I walked around the mostly empty airport. Half of it was shuttered, the few passengers and waiting families wandered aimlessly, glancing at the arrival and departure signs. It is hard to wait. In my mind’s eye she walks down the stairs and I see her before she spots me. The young woman who walks toward me is thin and pale from a sleepless night, my heart lurches and I struggle to control my countenance.
It’s a glorious hot day with high wispy clouds and bright sun. We sit and listen to the birds and the fountain. What is she thinking? Is she sad or just tired? Does she want to sleep but feels it would be rude having just arrived? Mama Bear struggles to take hold so I quiet my mind, listen and summon the silent comfort I learned in hospice. Just let it all be.
A walk up through the woods to the ledges gave us time to flex her cramped muscles. Bear paw prints, deer tracks and giant frogs in the stream distracted us from ourselves. Alice scrambled along happily and chose a particularly stinky mud hole to dunk and roll in. We spotted the Raven’s nest and I wondered if Mrs. Raven was having a Mother’s Day. She rescued at three-legged painted turtle that wandered up the logging road, and scooped jellied toad eggs from the drying mud, rehoming them in a stream.
As the clouds rolled in she wandered off to nap. She is safe and here. I am whole. Mamma Bear is in the woods. This paw print was 30 yards from the house.