Frozen Garden by E.E. Rawls
Day 11 Advent 2017
I stand in the snow
In the garden that has turned into a world of white.
All is silent
No birds, no singing crickets
Nothing but the tiny bubbling of a frozen creak
As its waters battle to flow beneath the ice.
There are no colors around me but white
And the dark bark of trees that have fallen into slumber.
I feel alone in the silence, the stillness, the colorlessness
As if I am the only living thing that remains
As if death has taken away everyone and everything I’ve known.
The cold air bites at my skin
And I pull my scarf closer.
Winter reminds me of solitude, a beautiful sadness
And the inevitability of death
The ice freezing over living things until they surrender.
I shudder, and my exhale is like a puff of smoke in the air.
I hear a chirp sound suddenly
And I crane my neck to look up.
There before me stands a pine tree, alive and ever green
And pecking about its branches a chickadee, who merrily chirps at me.
There are deer tracks in the snow at the tree’s base
And the remnants of a pinecone decimated by squirrels.
Something is still living, I realize, still surviving despite this frozen world
And my loneliness begins to melt.
This ever green is like a symbol…
In the midst of cold, the warmth of life can be found,
In the midst of silence, the rhythm of beating hearts can be heard,
In the midst of darkness, a saving light can be seen,
In the midst of lonely winter, there is companionship with God.
Winter is silent and deadly, but Christmas is merry and alive,
It is a reminder of both, that where there is death there is also new life,
Jesus died with our sins, and rose alive from the dead.
This frigid season is not as desolate as I had thought
Even if it lacks the thrill and vibrancy of summer
Winter has its own different kind of life.
My footsteps crunch in the snow as I turn and exit the frozen garden
A garden that is still alive under the layers of snow
Waiting beneath my shoes for spring.
I smile, and know that I will view winter differently from now on.