Thursday, May 21, 2015

Everything has its own season

Every year, I look forward to the fringe tree blooming in our front yard. Its white, fleecy feathers hang from the branches and dance in the wind. Along with the gorgeous pink weeping cherry tree that blooms a few weeks before, it’s one of my favorite spring-flowering trees. The dogwood, saucer magnolia and Bradford pear can’t beat its beauty.
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The other night, a wicked storm rolled into town. The wind whipped, pea-sized hail fell and a torrential downpour soaked the ground. When I walked outside the following morning, the fringe tree was naked, and its soft billowy blooms blanketed the ground. All that beauty gone in a flash, ripped from the branches before I was ready to say goodbye.
As I picked up some soggy blooms and held them in the palm of my hand, tears pooled in my eyes. I was reminded of beauty cut short, of parents and family and friends, tassels torn too soon from the tree of life during one of life’s raging storms.
Why must things die? a young child asks, unable to understand that all life is organized in such a way that it has a limited lifespan.
Flies might live for days, tortoises and whales for hundreds of years and trees for thousands of years. But eventually, they all die. No living thing, no animal or plant, can escape death.
So often in life we witness beauty too short-lived. Why can’t the fringes hang forever? Why do the cherry blossoms fade and fall?
What perhaps we should be asking is, Why didn’t I enjoy the beauty when I had the chance?
It’s human nature, I think, to believe there will always be another day. But sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes wicked weather slams us unexpectedly and we’re caught off-guard, standing in the drenching rain and rising water.

I know that everything in life has its own season -- a time to be born and a time to die. But that doesn’t stop me from wishing the seasons could last longer.
• • •
After seeing how the storm undressed the fringe tree, I walked around the yard to see what else had been affected.
I found the dwarf English boxwoods were growing and turning a healthy green. The azaleas were popping with pink.
The barberries were budding and stretching in all directions.
The hydrangeas were beginning to peek out, and the hosta, which had only poked through the ground a couple weeks ago, had taken over the side of the house.
Yes, everything has a season. I hope you enjoy yours.

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