There is this songbird heart tucked inside my chest, that's always beckoning me to fly away in search of more.
There is never an open arm embrace with dwindling day light and my heart; I never fall gently into cooler days turned cold and colder days turned gray.
So I fly.
When winter spreads itself out across the gray of skies for months on end, I fly away.
I fly hard and far and deep, straight into heavy sunshine, thick like honey oozing from its hive.
Every February, I fly and land safely in the nest of my snowbird-grandparents aside the gulf waters in Fort Myers and I breathe out the cold and let color seep onto my face beneath wide open blue skies and wide open turquoise water.
A friend said February always brings out the restless in her heart, too, in a different but oh-so-same way, I think.
Her words gave clarity to what I've been doing each winter for the past six years as I make my cold-weather exodus to the promised land.
As much as I love home, family, friends, the life we've built, my heart always must be dragged away from the warm oasis by the sea by an equally unwilling body stuck with a too-reasonable mind that whispers that I cannot join the branches of the other warm-weather birds who hold out until the warmest of sun beckons them home.
Because the Son beckons me back first.
He calls me back to the everydayness that is interspersed with sweet frustration and overwhelming fullness and crazy-running-into-spring cold snaps that melt into blooms.
We traveled two entire days through the south, watched tropical bloom fade and signs of midwestern spring blossom before our very eyes before we landed at my mom's house in countryfield Illinois late last night.
Cold winds still sweep through the midwest, rustle barren trees.
But the sun is stronger than when I left three weeks ago, lighting up the prairie longer each day.
I am an early songbird returning home to the grass-and-snow-checkered ground, my song singing of the colors creeping north and the daylight seeping into more and more of the dusks and dawns.
This songbird heart sings of spring spreading out over taking the winter from branches of naked trees.
But it sings of spring, nonetheless, because it's coming.