Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scarlet and Magnolia Secrets

I found this scarlet one blazing in the woods not too long ago. Brave, bright little thing, I had to take a picture. Trees are the most magnificent metaphor for the human soul, in my opinion. They wear a demure green mantle for much of the year, and many bare stark limbs in the winter--yet even this outward stripping does not reveal a tree's true form. For there are seasons when trees spill such secrets from heartwood and sap! For example, who would guess that this spindly sapling packed such a wallop of saucy, precious crimson in each leaf?

Or take the Magnolia in spring. It's like the revelation of a goddess!

Yet I must confess that while nothing is more lovely in my sight than a Magnolia in bloom, I would hardly bestow a glance on the tree without its showcase of petals. Likewise, I think there are seasons of the soul. Times when people shine their brightest and best and persistence and cultivated talent find their fruition. I love to witness that moment in people and bask in the sudden reveal: the discovery of the glory which was gemmed up inside them all along, but that nobody noticed until today, not even me. Maybe especially not me. It's perilously easy to become so wrapped up in my own toils that I forget to appreciate the many abilities, gifts, and kindnesses manifested by others.

I believe that everyone is packed with just as much honest glory as a tree. The glow edges out of us in a luminous shadow, waxing and waning with the moments in our lives. I hope I can learn to trace mine in ink.

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