Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Just A Little Mad.

There is something about spring that drives me a little mad. I know it isn't just me, at least. In college students it's called Spring Fever. There are other names for it, too, I suppose-- a common and blessed human 'affliction'. Perhaps it's only Thanks. Or a whiff of the Hope that my brothers and sisters in Christ look for which will last forever, not just for a season.

Oh, may Heaven be an eternal Spring!

We have a dogwood outside our livingroom window. Many people love dogwoods only for their pretty white flowers, but this one doesn't usually produce flowers. That's just fine with me. I rejoice in it for its leaves, watching them emerge. They appear as microscopic buds, all pointing to the sky, never straight out or towards the ground. Then they begin to elongate, and take on the freshest and most delicate of greens-- is it a color or a mist? They lengthen subtly day by day, looking exactly like tiny green flames; a whole tree full of Spring Candles, always pointing upwards. The morning sun seeks them out and illuminate them; they are the lights of early morning. At about an inch long, they begin to divide into two, and curl outwards, stretching into wakefulness.

Later they will unfurl and spread into their full, almond-shaped selves, bobbing cheerfully as they catch the raindrops which coat and polish before dripping reluctantly off their graceful tips. In the late summer their color dims just a little before deepening into variegated crimson and green which glow in the sun of autumn-- may I age so well! And in winter, after all these leaves are gone, the slender twigs will catch the snow and be draped as lace against a leaden sky, or coated with crystal ice, glittering in the thin winter sunlight. Or, simply etched and dusted with hoarfrost, just before those microscopic proto-buds emerge shyly once more, like a maiden emerging naked from her bath, reaching for her filmy robe.

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