LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pocketful of Petals

Though we don't have any, cherry trees are popular in our area. Several of them grace the grounds at my daughter's school. One breezy spring day, while I was walking down the sidewalk next to her building, I noticed piles of pink cherry blossom petals against the curb. The wind had collected and deposited them at my feet. They still looked fresh--pink and delicate and perfect. I had the urge to lean down, gather them up and stuff them in my pockets for later--maybe for some cold day in January when the winter landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. Or for some afternoon in late summer when it's so hot we can't stay outside for long and the days are racing toward the start of the school year. If only those petals could bring spring, my favorite season, back again with its abundant beauty.

But then I'd miss fall--the spectacular leaves, the blessedly cooler temperatures, the crisp fragrance of change. And winter, with its strange and spare beauty, cold air making freckled noses pink and your breath turn to steam. I'd miss winter's promise of spring, of new life inside the cold earth. The anticipation of renewal, resurrection.

As beautiful as those petals were, I couldn't hold onto them any more than I can hold onto time itself. And despite the imminent end of summer, I'm looking forward to seeing the leaves put on their show before floating to the earth and becoming part of what's to come.

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