An Easy Spring

It froze last night.

It was a deep frost, lacing the newly budding leaves with a thin web of ice before vanishing under the anemic warmth of the sun.

Just north of here, there are places with no months that are frost-free.

Spring is deceptive.

Other lands, other landscapes, have easy boundaries between the cold and the warmth.

It is possible to measure, scientifically, the sun angle and the number of days from the Equinox and speak knowingly of whether winter has vanished.

Here, it is closer to magic, to the alchemical process of transmuting lead to gold.

Watch the caterpillars, the shadows of the mountains, the movement of air down the river valley-

Transmute these things into a calculus of still-born life, of a reminder of the knife’s edge we walk.

And still we grow.

Plants bursting forth, a hundred birds rising as a single mind, a single body.

The air buzzing with insects, with songs, with the thick smell of things growing and dying.

There is no freedom from the shadow of death.

Still the green things reach upwards.

No less beautiful for their dangerous struggle.

No less determined in their unfolding, in their relentless march towards life.

IMG_1775Green persists, even in the face of its destruction

I have the deepest respect for the ability of northern beings to keep living in the face of the challenges of their environments.


I am a lover of persistence both in life and in writing. If you would like to read more about persistence and the overcoming of impossible odds, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.

 

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In All Things, Joy

The air sings still of the weekend’s snow, of colder, darker months, not yet forgotten.

Such a sharp edge for the cresting of the new.

Too soon, and the late frosts will stifle the birthing.

Too late, and the time for frantic growth will be cut short on the other side of the seasons.

It would be easy to see it as a cycle of fear, cold death chasing until it catches and swallows.

I look out now and see the lie in the trail of life before me.

We do not grow away from the cold, from the death that would drown us.

We grow upwards, outwards.

Not fleeing.

Chasing

Light, joy, love.

Those that grow do not cower from what-might-not -be.

Life is not for retraction, for burrowing back into the frozen earth.

Life is reaching, greedily grasping every breath of warmth, every ounce of joy.

For daring the frost, the snow, the unexpected, and shooting upwards-

Buds outstretched, furling into the sun.

 Upright LeafIn all things, joy. In all joy, hope.

The pursuit of joy has always served me better than the flight from fear.


For more of writing on joy and fear, both flight and pursuit, you can read my fantasy novel,The Guests of Honor. It is available here. The sequel, With Honor Intact, will be coming out on April 23, 2015.

A Frozen Moment

We pass quickly from not-winter to winter here.

The trees, the air, the movement of the clouds all provide warning, but the last traces of fall will vanish from night to morning.

Not all parts of my world are well-prepared for the transition.

On the first winter morning, I search for casualties.

A rosebud, half-opened, forever frozen in place.

The wagon, forgotten in the field, and now mired in frozen mud.

A small butterfly, too late in the transition, its wings become a crystallized work of art.

Change is not easy.

In stories, we see the best moments of those rising to the challenges before them, facing the oncoming cold with determination and understanding.

Seldom do we see those caught out by the wind, futilely trying to understand when the air passed from welcoming to dangerous.

Not all survive those transition points.

But even in those who lose, who pass out of the ongoing cycle, there is a beauty.

The leaves are frozen, unable to withstand the force of winter.

Still they stand, forever reaching towards the sun.

IMG_6822The delicacy of the ice crystals belie the strength of their destruction

I am a fan of persistence. Even, or especially, in the face of failure.


If you would like to see my other writing on persistence, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor over here.