Budding in Winter


Budding in Winter

. this."

Recently, there was a scene in my own front yard which said, "Notice me. Pay attention. L:earn from me." I passed it by at first, I thought I couldn't possibly be seeing what I was seeing. The tree in our front yard is budding. I said to my husband, "What are those things on the branches? They can't be buds, but they sure look like buds."

You see, we have had really frigid temperatures the last 60 days or so in Wisconsin. (Well, longer than that, but I mean REALLY frigid.) Some places in the Midwest have had an unseasonably warm day or two--it was 74 degrees in Kansas City on January 28! That is not the case here--one day we topped out at zero, and often the overnight low is colder than that.

And yet, here is this tree, with what looks like buds on the branches (but of course, it couldn't be, that doesn't make sense). As friends stopped by, I would say, "Look at that tree! What are those things on the branches?" and they would reply, I'm not sure, they look like buds, but of course they couldn't be." They couldn't be? But they are right in front of me, saying "Notice me. Pay attention. Learn from me."

I have not written much poetry in a long time, but a little three line almost-a-haiku poem emerged out of nowhere one day:

Subzero mercury

And a newly blooming tree

Beautiful dichotomy

And so it is.  "That ... reminds me of .... this." Somehow in the midst of a journey that can feel as unpleasant and frankly painful as below zero temperatures, I am budding. It doesn't make any sense. It "can't be." And yet there it is, staring me in the face, day by day.

And when I meet you and listen to you and chat with you, I see budding tree after budding tree, calling out "Notice me. Pay attention. Learn from me."

I am seeing a forest of budding trees in very challenging circumstances. Beautiful dichotomy. Beautiful reality.

(Photo is of the very tree mentioned in this blog post; photo taken 2/17/15.)

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