Nothing in my life is so bedraggled and beaten down as my courtyard is this winter. It promises me nothing and shows me only wilted, brown and drooping leaves. There is no grand palette of green, no eager buds, just a droning sympony of brown.
But I know something.
As dreary and insignificant as it looks now, my little garden will return. Before Winter, I groomed and mulched and prepared the plants for dormancy in the cold weather. And yesterday afternoon, I covered them with sheets to protect them from the forecast freezing temperatures of the next several days. Oh goodness, it's a pitiful site, my garden is.
The time will come, however, when the garden will return the care I've given it. Life there will be renewed and restored. I'm a perennial believer and I know that when those first warm rays of sunlight hit my little garden, it will re-awake with bountiful life.
We are not unlike my little garden. A hard freeze of dissapointment or pain can enter our hearts and settle in there, leaving us fearful or bitter with dwindling hope. But if we have prepared our heart, if we have tended to its needs, groomed and encouraged its growth, if we keep our faith through the night, through the cold, if we believe that we won't always feel this way, something happens. In time, we find that our hearts thaw, that hope breaks through and blooms again, that love find its way back. In time we find that our hearts re-awake with bountiful love.
And like my garden when it blooms and the scent of budding flowers floats in the air, a loving heart is a delightul thing to encounter.