In the chill of winter the gardener finds his world at a cold standstill, memories of the prior seasons still fresh. Trying a new endeavor, his efforts had been inspired and ambitious. Soil had been prepared and resources secured, but perhaps too many seeds with varying demands had been planted and too many weeds allowed to grow for, in the end, there had been no harvest.
Discouraged, chilled by the foreboding cold, the gardener hangs his head, questions his abilities, and braces for his future.
The ground is frozen, the branches bare, the sky grey.
This is the dead of winter.
As the darkness of night falls, he will freeze if he does not care for himself. He moves toward a pinpoint of light.
Finding old dead wood, he builds a fire. The flames dance and warm. He relaxes letting go old dead thoughts. Worries, interpretations, conclusions all vanish like so much smoke disappearing into the night sky.
By morning fresh white snow has fallen covering everything in a quiet blanket, creating a bright, new, empty canvas.
Optimism bubbles up.
New strategies are called forth. He will sow a simpler variety of seed and employ vigorous, vigilant weeding. He will allow himself time to witness, reflect and correct.
Motivation is kindled.
Time goes on. Each day the sun radiates more light and greater warmth. Life on Earth responds with budding leaves, nesting pairs, tender blossoms, and green grass.
With humble determination, the gardener digs his hands into the soil.