Storm

The wind has been building up for hours – howling and moaning and shaking the trees free of their leaves. A mass of grey clouds, impossible to see in the dark night sky, sits above everything, threatening to release more than the drizzle that has been making the world outside a wet, slippery place.

Then, suddenly, there is that flash. So bright, so sudden, like an enormous camera from up above taking a picture of this glorious, wild scene of winter. The lightning flashes quickly, piercing through eyelids and warning the sleepers in their warm beds and toasty homes of what is to come. The lightning is so quick that no-one’s really sure if it was really lightning or perhaps just a strange light coming from something else outside.

But there is no mistaking what the bright, almost audible crack of light was when the thunder roles in. At first, it rolls in softly, like the tires of a car crunching on a gravelly driveway. Next time the lighting comes though, the rumble of the thunder sounds closer, more threatening. Finally, as the storm reaches its peek, the thunder cracks loudly, as if something were whipping the storm into a wild frenzy, the wind stronger than ever and the rain and hail pounding down on any unlucky souls who happen to be outside.

The sleepers in their warm blankets roll over and smile at the loud noises, feeling secure and peaceful in their beds. Or sometimes they quake with fear, even knowing that they are perfectly safe. The storm outside doesn’t care though for what the people think of it – it will rage and billow and cover the world with wet until it calms, seemingly of its own accord, and goes to sleep itself.

Forgetting Spring

Imagine a great, big tree. Grand and majestic, an old soul, it carries thousands of small leaves, leaves that fall each winter to the ground and scatter in the wind. Each fall, as the leaves begin to change colors and one by one fall from the branches, the tree begins to feel lonely. It knows that soon it will be bereft of all its cover and will be alone. So every fall, the tree grows sadder and sadder until, as the first frost kisses the branches, the tree feels dead and alone.

The months of winter whip the tree into a fierce skeleton of its former glory. All leaves gone, the tree is left without support, without cover, without anything to shelter if from the winds and snows and the rains and the frosts. If the tree could have a voice it would be howling with pain as the wind beats through it, screaming as the cold drops of rain hit its branches or moaning softly as the snow buriesĀ it under a cold blanket of wet white flakes.

The tree never remembers during the winter what it feels like to wake up in spring. But nevertheless, every year, there comes a morning when the tree feels the warm glint of the sunlight on its branches. It drinks up the water from the wet ground through its roots and seems to stretch out as the warmth thaws it. Soon enough, the new leaves start budding, one by one, and the tree would be smiling if it could, greeting every new bud with a drop of water to sustain and nourish it.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that spring will come, but come it will, whether we know it or not.