It is a Sunday afternoon in summer. The first summer without Hans. Manfred and Noah are three hundred miles away on a job in Anchorage. Olivia, Josef and I are back home after church and have eaten our spaghetti, with ice cream for dessert. Olivia leaves for work and Josef hops on his bike. I clear the table and head outside.
It is an astonishingly beautiful day, which makes it worse; Sundays can be difficult for me. I miss having everyone at home all together.
I take a turn around the garden. I often go to there to think and to remember. I pause at the far end, beyond the cabbages and the potatoes, out in the little meadow, and look back at the house, our sweet little house all covered with flowers and filled with memories. The sun casts shadows on the freshly mowed lawn as I look back into the not very long ago. In my mind and heart I see our four children rolling around in the grass with a couple of goat kids, a puppy, a bunny or two. They are loafing and laughing and just messing around and being together. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent secretly watching the four of them all together on that lawn.
It’s not just Hans I miss. It is all of them together as happy children on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes I so want to turn back the clock to one of those precious days. Or to turn it forward to when we will all be together again.
But I cannot.
And I miss them so very much.
So I am out there alone in the little meadow beyond the garden, crying of course – crying hard. I look up, because that is the only place to look. Up is where Hans is.
And then I see them.
Three young eagles circling high overhead. They gain altitude without ever flapping a wing. And then I see a fourth eagle. It zooms at the other three and then zooms away again. It seems to keep apart from the others, but not too far away. Then It joins the others again and they all play eagle games together, just messing around and being together.
Four of them.