Last fall, my husband severely pruned four holly trees in front of our house in preparation for the new siding we were having put on. We wanted to save them, but we also knew that it would be impossible for the siding crew to do what needed to be done if the hollies were left as they were.
We waited through the winter, watching for over six months as the four shrubs stood, completely bare and apparently dead. A few days ago, tiny little leaf-buds appeared on some of the branches. We are ecstatic. New life! Four resurrected trees! Every day there are new buds, and the existing ones are growing, lush and green and healthy.
Is something dead in the winter of your life? Has an unexpected turn in the road killed a dream, a relationship, a tree you counted on for shelter?
Sometimes we have to hide the remains because it’s too painful to have them right before our eyes. The hollies were like that for us. Every time we pulled into our driveway, our hearts would cringe a bit because of the pitiful, dead branches. If we could have covered them up we would have. Still, the faint hope, the remote possibility that there might be a bit of life somewhere deep down, kept us from discarding them permanently.
Maybe it’s time to dig that dream out of the dark place where you stuffed it when it began to shrivel up and die. You might be happily surprised, when you blow the dust off of the lid and look inside, to find tiny sparks of life all over it. Oh, it will be different. It will be changed by the season of death and darkness. But the differences will thrill you if you let them.