Friday, February 22, 2008
The maiden landscape of the still virgin year slumbers at the end of its winter’s nap. Dark with life-giving moisture, the heavy gray flannel clouds are tucked in at the horizon until nature’s alarm, the storm, startles spring awake by first unleashing her frigid dank breath.
The wind shakes apart the blankets that separate earth from sky. The rain is snapped loose in torrential sheets. Swirling currents of air rip branches bare of stubborn leaves that clung on past their beauty.
Undressed by the storm, the blandly colorless branches of Magnolia Soulangiana quiver in their nakedness. Her branches reach upwards, spread wide in supplication for mercy from the nighttime’s winter chill.
The necessity of stripping away the old accomplished, winter’s temper immediately gives way to its nurturing soul. At the moment the tree is denuded of last year’s encumbrances, the promise of springtime is born. On every finger tips of newly bared branches sprout cabochons of darkly royal amethyst buds. From these a constellation of tulip shaped 4” blossoms explode in velvety shades of magenta.
For the next month, the regal presence of this single moderately sized tree will hold court over the awakening garden. Then the flowers will begin to fade then fall. Along the nubby knuckles, smooth ovoid leaves that tender shade of yellowish green which appears when branches are young and supple, will color in the tree’s silhouette. By summer densely packed leaves will lushly shade the interior branches from the harshness of the summer sun.
Throughout the year, a scattering of blossoms will peak over the ends of verdant branches. But it is now, when the glorious pinks and purple blossoms are displayed in one glorious and extravagant welcoming gesture, in contrast to foreboding skies displayed when this tree declares itself as a reminder of the awesome grace of God.
Even on darkest days, He provides beauty, hope and home.
Look in the branches. Tucked in out of reach of predators is a nest. Try as I might, never will I be able to decorate a home more beautifully than He did for these creatures of His.