The novice gardener in winter

~ For my blue Jay ~
 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.
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.
Stillness pervades.
Curiosity abides.
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
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.

This is the promise of spring.