What waits amongst the hope

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops — at all….

Emily Dickinson, c.1861

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(tufted titmouse sits amongst the branches of a tulip tree/ Julie Cook / 2014)

What waits amongst the hope of a season’s waning cheer?
What waits amongst the hope of yet another passing year?

What waits amongst the hope of a rainy December day?
What waits amongst the hope in a sky so dull and grey?

What waits amongst the hope hidden in a darkened room?
What waits amongst the hope of a single tiny bloom?

What waits amongst the hope for a lonely face so sad?
What waits amongst the hope for a weary world gone mad?

What waits amongst the hope of the joy of a coming Spring?
What waits amongst the hope of the story of the new born King?

What waits amongst the hope of humankind this year to be?
Our hope is soon forth coming for all the world to see.

For unto to us a child is born, for us a son now given.
He comes as Hope made manifest for all our sins forgiven.

Oooo, I’m liking this…

Endure the present, and watch for better things.
Virgil

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(tiny emerging leaves on the quince)

Do My eyes deceive me?
Is that what I think it is?
Can it be?
How can it be?
Was this not the same landscape that was ice encrusted and snow covered but a mere three days ago!!?

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Just when I was about to give up all hope of sunny skies, warming days and the emergence of color—pure natural color accompanied by the newness of life, fresh and full—there hiding amongst the grey and brown of the empty limbs and decaying leaves, a tiny ray of hope–an advent of life perched on a periphery of an explosion of growth.

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(tiny leaves unfurling along a limb of the blueberry bush)

Buds plumping up, just waiting to burst forth onto the scene of a waning winter which refuses to loosen its icy hold. With the most recent snow and ice having melted, freeing those tender shoots and buds which were held as helpless captives, tender hopefuls now stretch skyward as if on tiptoes willing themselves to reach a warming sun.

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(buds of the Tulip tree)

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(buds on the oak tree, the one I fear is sickly–yet still hopeful)

We’re not out of the woods yet (figuratively that is)–it’s merely the middle of February. We’ve had blizzards in March and deep spring snows in April, but joyfully and thankfully I can now anticipate, as well as outwardly hope, because finally here, for all of the curious to behold, is a tangible glimpse of things to come—and believe you me, I can’t wait!

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(not a turkey foot)

“Wait” and “Hope”

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must of felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
” Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.”

― Alexandre Dumas

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The above image is that of the fuzzy buds of a tulip tree which I happened to notice while out walking around the yard this past week. Surveying the frozen silent landscape, I vainly searched for any signs of life. It is amazing, and almost impossible to comprehend that in what seems to have been just a few short weeks prior, this piece of property was full of a dizzying din of movement and life.

The fire ants were still quite active causing the continued angst I harbor for them throughout most of the year– as they are the bane of any backyard barefoot walker. The yellow jackets and wasps were still causing havoc raging a valiant battle for ownership in the grounds around and of the eves of the house. The squirrels were busying themselves laying stake to any and all fallen acorns as the hummingbirds were still whizzing and whirring about toying with the captivated cats.

And just as we were settling into those warm apple and cinnamon scented days of an endless fall, with the long shadows and shimmering lights dancing through the changing leaves, we are all but suddenly and abruptly roused from our tipsy comfort with the now frosty breath, plummeting mercury, and chattering teeth. Winter, for good or bad, has settled in.

Visions of the endlessly frozen mounds of snow coupled with a landscape which lies vulnerable before all to see, barren and stalk naked–void of any sort of vegetation— has many of us longing for better days.

Now you mustn’t misinterpret this somewhat wistful observation. I am certainly a lover of the seasons. I don’t think I could live in a place that does not transition from one season to another. And of course, I do have my favorite times of year, which are more of less, what I consider to be the transitional seasons—that of Spring and Fall. The excess of engery and color mirrored by the fading away of such. . .

And so it was, while out on my journey through a yard, which is in the throws of the slummer of winter, that I noticed the fuzzy buds of the tulip tree. The little tulip tree, as with most of the trees surrounding it, upon first glance appears quite dead. A mass of grey sticks spindly stretching skyward. . . but drawing closer and upon further inspection, one is rewarded with that of a special little secret that only the tree itself seems to be privy to—
“Shhhh”, it whispers, “don’t tell anyone, but you must know that Spring is not too far away.”
The final parting words this little tree offers to both you and I is that we must first “wait” and then “hope” as only the passage of time will soon soothe our all but frozen souls.