cherry blossoms after a long winter

by rebecca on April 24, 2010

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       It’s been a long winter. We haven’t had a real winter in years. A few token snows punctuated by sunshine and melt don’t allow my mind to go into that state of true hibernation. This winter I froze solid.

       The Ingalls family nearly froze to death. One of the great things I did for my children was read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series about life on the prairie. In The Long Winter the storms were so relentless that no supply trains could make it through and people on the prairie were on the verge of starving to death. I don’t live where I need to worry about supply trains feeding my family, but I got hungry for the ground this year.

       The grass disappeared under a sheet of white in late October and we didn’t see it again until a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, when we woke to a layer of snow covering that grass again my daughter expressed the sentiment of our whole family when she appeared at our big picture window and looked out, “Oh No! No, No, No!”

       It’s not just the snow, but the cold that makes a person long for spring. My body has been hungry for green and flowers and blue sky. I find this fascinating and lovely.

       As I read The Long Winter to my children they would periodically stop me and comment. “They were actually sleeping under a foot of snow, Mom?” (This after a night when the storm made it through the not-quite-completed house and piled up on top of their quilt more than a foot.) My children were stunned that the Ingalls had to keep the coffee grinder going all day just to make the one loaf of bread that kept them alive.

       This is winter; winter when the color is zapped out of life and we are hungry for the salad of big green meadows and rows of daffodils delighting our eyes.

       There is an altared space in the changing of the seasons and I notice it more profoundly when the seasons are more pronounced. The more deeply I’m buried in snow, the more precious this cherry blossom is to me. I wanted to take my hair dryer to its fragile little petals when I found it covered in snow.

       Longing for spring allowed me to drink in the blue sky that came later in the day with more thirst quenching hydration. The delicate pale pink of a cherry blossom had eluded me until this day when I begged for it to survive the spring chill.

       Winter is the season of death and death is that ultimate mystery I want to chase away and have never return, but it is the very heart of what gives depth to my spring. I’m able to come to spring softer and more open because it follows winter.

       I couldn’t be more grateful to live where the seasons change.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve April 24, 2010 at 9:50 am

loved it, Rebecca. there are all kinds of death, aren’t there . . . .


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