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Like hard hats, nubs tip the branches of my old lilac bush, caught up in the play of trickster winds. Over the winter months, the nubs appeared dormant, as if pondering their eventual flourishing. Overcast skies, drenching rains, and bone-chilling temperatures imprisoned them in darkness.

But not so this morning—there is a change: the swollen nubs are splitting apart; beneath the shriveled skins glimmer a new green as if hesitant to trumpet the earth’s warming. Such coloring stirs memories of other spring-watchings that unfolded like gyrating clowns tooting horns and clanging cymbals.

Like the bud, the terminal illness in my body is splitting open colorful vistas for further exploration: dreams, significant reading, stillness, contemplative prayer, substantive phone contacts, and writing. New lessons swell my spirit and keep it fresh: gentling my body with its symptoms, accepting the inevitability of my swelling and shriveling, waiting for inner nudges to embrace the next right step.

Interludes of angst also occur, and I know to be still with them as they do pass.

More than ever, my spirit seeks an increasing solitude within my body’s womb-like darkness: therein, to remember, to pray, to forgive, to give thanks, and to embrace the Unknown. The gift of another twenty-four hours for these endeavors helps.

Admittedly the richest time in my life, this new coloring is working out as I await my transition, whenever, however…

Silence colors the psyche with splashes of freshness; seek its invigoration beneath noise-killers choking our planet. Once bound within cords of discipline, relish the surprises, therein, and rejoice: The Sacred is near …

May, too, has its own snow, in the form of white seeded-fluff outside my study window; whispering breezes inch it along until lost in the grass or shrubs. Such transient beauty reminds me of long walks along the nearby creek where cottonwood trees flourish, the females yielding their seeds along the moist bank. Their heart-shaped leaves formed dense shade that often hushed me for the expected communion—It happened, amidst soft insects heralding life and tangled vines, immobile, from overhanging branches.

As spring’s cycle wanes the cottonwood seeding continues, littering the shredded seeds of oaks, maples, tulip trees mashed in gutters and sidewalks. From such destruction, greenness now wears a fresh fullness that will mature until stifled by harsh temperatures during the long months ahead.

Despite the stressed appearance of the natural world, new seeding, though buried, will again restore color to winter’s world. This remains our hope, and never has it been frustrated. 

So, too, with our bodies’ waning and death. Within it, we carry the seed of Eternal Life.

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