Tree Wise of Winter

Leaves green in summer
come flutter in fall.
Oak, Cherry once rich
surviving stand tall.

Drab split-hardened skin
scared naked exposed.
Arms reaching to heav’n
dread long dark and cold.

Fearful of winter?
Forgetful of spring?
Hope fades but a wink.
To rebirth you must cling.

Blood pearls on Holly
smooth waxy rich green.
Triumphant sweet Pine!
Faith steadfast wise tree.

Breathe forth sacred snow
north winds from afar.
White satiny sheets
mask ages old scars.

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I love winter. Overcast days, snowy nights, and a blue sky winter morning wonderland. It’s still autumn of course, but the first snow is arriving late this year to the Front Range foothills of Colorado. We’re expecting it tonight.

I wrote the first version of this poem in 2003; this is the third and final iteration. I know many who loathe winter, and a few who become severely depressed during the long, cold and dark days (a disorder known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder). They are miserable during the winter months. Lonely. Hurting. Sometimes hopeless. All of us, sooner or later, will walk through a season of difficulty, doubt, questions with no answers. A dark chapter we’d like to tear out.

Let nature be a reminder that winter doesn’t last forever–spring always comes. Pine trees are ‘ever’ green and sturdy in the wind, like a sage who welcomes a hard winter after surviving centuries of change. And the Holly. She bursts with contrasting reds and greens, like an excitable child, too young and carefree to let winter erase her color.

If your days are long and dark right now, hang on just a little longer…spring is on its way.

Revelation 21:4-5