A while ago I walked past a tree that had kept its seeds all the way through the winter. I personified that tree liberally and wondered about all the time that it had spent growing and preparing those seeds to be carried off by the wind in order to grow elsewhere. In those final weeks of winter, however, the seeds were still there, dried and brown. Seeing that tree made me wonder about how often our careful plans and hopes seem to be completely frustrated at times. Of course, the promise of spring and another chance to grow makes that tree’s lackluster past (and ours) seem a little less final. With that thought, I wrote this sonnet, a reminder that every bleak winter is followed by a vibrant spring.
A hollow breeze comes hissing through the seeds
That cling, unsown, to frozen branches. Snow
Remains through weeks of cold; the maple pleads
For some relief, but wintry winds still blow
To scorn the tree whose flowers bloomed in vain,
It seems. Not many months ago, the life
That filled the leaves coursed green, but vernal rain
Through March and May gave way to winter’s strife—
And autumn’s hope, in lifeless seeds, decays.
The disappointed tree endures the snow
And thinks about the past, the promised days
That never came—a withering, aching blow.
Yet fearsome winter yields itself to spring,
And life’s renewed—a gift from heaven’s King.