Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The brave

There they are- she stops in the gravel road to look down at the plants showing brave first leaves through the frosty ground. She thinks perhaps she should trust them and believe that Spring is not far away- believe that it is safe to put out leaves and try again. But, she remembers those years when the weather was cruel and froze those first brave leaves and infant flower buds. Even as a child, she had looked at the lilac buds encased in glassy ice and felt a deep sadness- a soul sadness. It was like a promise broken- a friend who laughs at you behind your back- the sweet smell of lilac would not fill the breeze that year.

She wonders, is it worth it? Why do they start so soon? Why do we try again for love and friendship when our hearts have been broken?

The birds are brave this morning too, singing and flitting about the hedges. She thinks of another plant and wonders- are they up yet? As she walks closer, she can only see the dead stalks. Standing right beside the brown stalks she can not see them. But, as she gets down upon her knees, there almost as dark as the dark earth, are the first shoots of the nettles. Deep, deep green- almost black-fuzzy but not yet stinging. Nettles. She touches one fondly with her finger tip. The nettles mean something deep and old to her. First, she loves them because they were here- they and the Salmon Berries came by themselves and set up house in a corner of the garden (the unlikely partners growing tall mixed together and supporting each other). Second, because their deep greenness holds so much (imagine if your pantry was not continuously replenished by the store- imagine how good those fresh greens would look and taste after the winter). Third, because they remind her that not all things that sting should be avoided. She rises and feels strong. It's all worth it.