Tenacious

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― Harper Lee

RSCN8740

RSCN8742
(a couple of volunteer pansies popping up / Julie Cook / 2014)

The garden of Winter stands empty and bare.
Lush rich canopies, once towering overhead, are now all but forgotten
Only gnarly sticks and branches, jutting precariously helter skelter,
stand as the lonely sentinels of the yard.
Once an oasis of cool green grass offered a refreshing respite for hot tired toes,
now all that was, stands garishly transformed, stunted and brown
As a blanket of grey wraps its cold arms around everything in sight.

Yet just under the veil of freshly fallen snow
or perhaps it was just after the latest hard freeze,
a demure, yet tenacious wonder, appears.
Short and stocky, yet perky and hardy
joyful little face-like blooms emerge one by one.

No other color or tender blossom dares tread this time of year
as the frosty winter air is not for timid or faint of heart.
Nevertheless take courage you who are cold and weary–
as you who suffer, laying waste under the wiles of Old Man Winter’s wicked spite,
for there is one who stands valiantly at the ready to offer both
color and hope to your worn and bleary senses. . .
for behold the lowly pansy readies for a fight.

Head cast down

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37:24

DSCN8613
(a tiny volunteer pansy pops up between the driveway and the brick walk / Julie Cook / 2014)

Perhaps it is the unseasonable weather.
Perhaps it is the grey sky.
Perhaps it is the stressful holidays.
Perhaps it is the burdens of life
Perhaps it is the numerous funerals of late.
Perhaps it is the recent news of loss and death.
Perhaps it is the sudden transitions of life
Perhaps it is the news. . .

Head cast down, eyes now dimmed, starring blankly at nothing
As a heavy invisible weight pushes shoulders ever more downward and bent
The usual quick and brisk gait now laboriously hindered.
Gone are the lush colors of the vibrant growth of life.
The greyness of melancholy wraps its spindly arms around any and all
While joy and hope seem to have vanished with the sun.

And just as the bleakness seems to swallow up any remaining sense of purpose,
Out of a tiny crack, wedged tightly between pavement and walkway, a tiny ray of Love raises its head for all to see.
A small yet powerful and potent reminder of a never-ending love constantly present yet often times forgotten and overlooked between a Father and His child.

“Remember, I am with you always. . .” whispers the tiny bloom.