Archive | September 2012

Viburnum Years

They used to be a brilliant August white.  But my neighbor’s viburnum flowers have mellowed in these latter weeks, and now they more quietly glow–a dusty rose at the base, a softened white at the tip.  They fade so elegantly as they wait for winter’s cold to brittle them brown and then carry them away.

I look at these paler clusters now, and I think to myself how lovely it would be to age in such a graceful way.  To simply be and let time and weather work its quiet magic.  To simply blush a dusty rose and radiate a sense of graced tranquility.  But aging for us is so much more complex.  Golden years they may be called, but so often the years of autumn life are riddled with aches and pains.  Heavy with sweet and not-so-sweet memories.  Laden with fears of cares to come.  And while I think there is indeed a little of that dusty rose shining in each of us as we age, for many there is also a too-early-brownness, a sometime ragged tatteredness, and winter’s breath feels all too harshly close.

But dusty rose or grayish brown, ragged or serenely calm, we keep at it.  At living, that is.  At living and loving this life with a deep gratitude for all that is.  Gratitude for the bounties that continue to surround us in our dusty-rose days.   For the mystery of life that still lies deep within each one of us.  For courage that shines through all our browns or rosy tints.  For laughter that still sparkles through our veins.  For faith that pulls us along and whispers to assure us that we are not alone in our viburnum years.

To Reach the Stars

I watched them through the early winter cold,

playfully young, straight, proud, and

stretching through the snow and clouds to

touch the stars and shine their joy of

tender life with all those points of light

that smiled down on them each frigid night.

I watched as, of a sudden, arctic winds

snarled across their fragile youth,

weighting them down and down and

down with ghost-white snow, until so stooped and

aged beyond their tender years, they

fingered only dark, ice-crusted earth instead of lustrous stars.

I watch them now, still sadly bent,

their summer dance of green a meager,

muted, hobbled waltz.

I grieved for them in winter; and from my own

misshapen life, I grieve with them still now.  But

sometimes, of a soft and windless summer night,

I think I hear them whisper, to each other and to me,

telling of a someday tender Wind that promises to

straighten all our bentness, and bring again the

stars within our reach.