For eight Februarys, a single gold crocus has pushed through the mulch in my flowerbed, preening its petals within the morning sun. Its blooming, in the same place, seems to proclaim, “I’m back! Take heart!” Solitary in its uniqueness, it streams hope: beneath winter’s apparent grip, life does persist.

Its burst of sweetness evokes deep questions. How does one learn to stand apart from collective norms and witness to ultimate truth? How to express one’s findings in the face of killing winds? How to relish one’s solitude in pursuit of the Sacred?

Responding to such questions opens many doors, perceived as locked; behind them, untarnished treasures abound for still further exploration.