Winter is coming. The sun is turning her back on us and the trees have begun mourning. The evergreens are stoic and strong, but the sentient maples cry the brightest tears. I don't feel ready for chilly mornings or scratchy scarves, brisk winds or numb toes. I don't feel ready for jack-o-lanterns or sweet potato pie or flannel stockings. I feel rushed this year, my face still following the crest of the sun like the thirsty, fading flowers of my garden.
But winter doesn't ask my permission. She will soon bellow with icy breath across the mountains and unapologetically blanket my world in snow, frozen branches reaching their nakedness through the white, into the gray skies overhead. So I dig my wooly-socked feet into the leaf-covered earth and brace for the inevitable. But I feel rushed. Tomorrow doesn't ask permission to steal love from our arms, to thrust us into the back yard and the school yard and the big world just beyond reach. Time is the unapologetic thief of radiant, childlike hearts, well-fed trees thick with leaves, thick with love. But God did not create us all to be evergreens. Some of us bear the curse of the maple, just another green tree until harsh weather blows in, and then we bend and we break, we shed and we shake our weariness. We bleed reds and plums and weep golden tears into the wind and with one final sigh, we exchange our balmy, summer dreams for the naked truths of winter. With bare branches, we reach into the sky and reach deep into our roots to find the strength needed to survive another somber snow.
As sure as autumn's bulbs do their work beneath the earthen surface, so change will arise with the spring's daffodils. The sun will return from her sabbatical and call forth greens and pinks and yellows from the naturescape. We will celebrate the new sprouts and the new blooms, the butterflies that flit past for a moment and the birds that come to nest for a season. The garden's zinnia will stand on tippy-toe, straining to prove taller than the year before and the marigolds will sing their sunrise harmonies. But none will outshine the maple, for she will yet weep her brightest tears.
about the writer.
“Words are only postage stamps delivering the object for you to unwrap” (George Bernard Shaw)