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Beauty’s imprint upon the imagination unleashes streams of shimmering lights: wordless joys that warm chilled places.

Such is my experience as I gaze out my study window that frames the Summer Snowflake Viburnum shrub: Even its name, a juxtaposition that enlarges its reality, draws smiles.

This is the sixth spring that I’ve been companioned by its serrated green leaves and showy blossoms upon pagoda-like branches. I marvel at its prodigious growth, originally a spindly trunk about three feet tall. Two hot summers required soaker hosings to keep it alive, together with our conversations about surviving. Given my health issues, I never knew if I’d see another spring. Our preening in the sun must have worked.

 

Throughout my life, psychic eruptions have enveloped my senses within bliss, have demanded unheard-of changes, and have assuaged monstrous fears. Such turnarounds veiled their Source for decades, and puppet-like, I followed, not without experiencing its strangeness and the raised eyebrows of those around me. Still I knew better than to renege and walked away from religious and marital vows, cities, careers, and some friends. With the continuing support of my dreams and my Jungian analyst, I finally retired in 2001 to compose a story from the pieces of my life.

And such a story it is. Slowly, the shadowy outlines of the Source have evolved into fuller awareness: this same Source that is guiding my end time’s growth, one day at a time; this same Source with whom I long for communion that won’t withdraw within the pockets of my psyche. From them, nasty naysayers still harass me, still fling refuse upon my thoughts and choices, still frame my eighty-four year as failure.

But that no longer works—given decades of chronic illness and pain that’s rendered me with half-life and scraped me hollow. Within that same emptiness now flourishes fresh saplings yearning for light and moisture. Such nurturing continues with each day’s willingness to do the drill, no matter how long it takes. Although still homebound, my trips to the Source are unlimited.

Hope abounds.

 

“It’s only winterbite,” my gardener friend assured me, handing me several mottled leaves from the Christmas Hollys we’d planted last spring in my side yard. Her windblown cheeks, her bulky sweatshirts and jeans, smudged from previous work, bespoke her authority tending gardens. She brightened and leaned over. “See these buds beneath other stressed leaves? Once the earth warms up, they’ll push them off and form new leaves.”

Like the Christmas Hollys, I, too, suffer from winterbite. So weary of wearing long underwear and multiple layers of heavy clothing, so bone-chilled by arctic winds, so leery of inaccurate weather forecasts, so sun-deprived, so tired of in-house walks.

Like everyone, I yearn for the warming sun to quicken my own budding with spring’s pastels: pinks, raspberry, peach, rose …

 

 

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