A Robin named Hope

The snow has finally melted from my back yard. We spent the past few months buried beneath a mound that fluctuated between two and four feet deep.

Now, that the white stuff is gone, I’m not thrilled with what was revealed. Forgotten toys, plastic Walmart bags, a stray shoe, and soggy Pokemon cards litter the brown expanse.

 There’s also the stark reminder of how my lawn struggled last year. With malfunctioning sprinklers, half of our yard was denied the required sustenance and our grass baked in the desert sun. Now, brown patches yawn wide, promising a sparse covering at best.

I love our yard. It was one of the selling points when we bought this house. When we moved here, our family consisted of 6 children and one on the way. We needed room for them to run and play, where I could say, after listening to the din created by many small boys, ‘Go outside!’  Our yard has a built in swing set with a slide. We’ve added a play house and a tramp. There is a fence to keep in young bodies who wander, including the two dogs.  I have a small square on one side where I attempt to garden. I manage a few tomatoes and peppers, and weeds, I’m proficient at growing those.

But, the struggles with our grass have discouraged me. I long for a lush, green carpet free of stickers and crab grass. I look on with envy at the lawns of neighbors and wonder if I could pull a Jim Carey type stealing spree. (See video below.)

Robin leaving my yard.
Then, this morning, as I looked out my window, I saw her. One lone robin, with her brilliant red breast, hopped across my yard.  She pecked the ground repeatedly. Go on, I encouraged her, I’m sure you’ll find better fare next door. But, she was persistent. She hopped some more and I sat on my bed, resting my chin on the window sill. I love robins and the promise they bring simply by being.  She pecked some more and then, her little beak gave a hard tug.  She dropped the worm, looked around, perhaps hoping one of her robin friends was watching and admiring her skill.  She picked the slimy thing up and gulped it down.

Then, she was off. Nest building or egg laying surely on her to-do list. I watched her go, then looked back at my yard, which didn’t seem so sad anymore. 


  1. Big smile on reading this one, Jewels. :)

  2. Me too. Smiling big. I love yards, I love robins in the spring and I love your writing.

  3. Yay! Spring is coming! It's time to put the crab grass preventer on the lawn...

  4. I love seeing robins in the spring!

    I never raked the leaves last fall. I guess I should ask my neighbor to borrow a rake before it kills the grass...

  5. I took a peek at our yard and shuddered. It's a mess! But it holds so many dear summer memories, I can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can get back out there, dead patches and dog dug holes and all.

  6. Oh the joy and hope of spring and the little visitors.....I just hope summer doesn't disappoint this year and we can actually venture into the garden and make fabulous memories!

    It is the memories that make the garden...not the state of the lawn ;-)

  7. I too, was rather dismayed to see all the toys and crap out in my yard after the snow melted. And all the piles of construction garbage that had been covered by snow and conveniently forgotten about...but that now have to be dealt with and taken to the dump. And oh, the lawn. We too had sprinkler problems last year. Thank you for the robin story...it brings me hope as well. :)

  8. I'd cement my front lawn if Joe would let me. Love the little hint of hope that came your way!

  9. Last summer, I pulled into my driveway and instead of getting out of the van right away, I just sat there. I do that sometimes--when life kind of catches up with me and I need to take a few minutes, not to collect my thoughts, but just to get away from thinking, if that makes any sense. Anyway...I watched this robin in my yard: three hoppity steps, stop, cock his head to the side, four hoppity steps in another direction, stop, cock his head. Thirty or so seconds of this, he pecked at the ground and scooped up a worm, first try. Left me wondering if the head cocking was him LISTENING for the worms doing their wormy business underground.


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