Each March it happens. I’ll be sitting at the dining room table, lost in my own frivolity, and I’ll look up to see her staring at the dirt in front of my house. She wears a headscarf loosely framing her lined face. Like a robin or some other migratory bird, she disappears all winter. When the ice on the sidewalks retreats, she advances. My first glimpse of her is always a bit of a shock and a relief; she could be anywhere from 65 to 85 and I never fully trust she’ll make it through the winter.
Yet, I look up and there she is, blessing my garden—filling the dirt with good wishes and secret memories and love.