It’s quickly apparent that I should have worn rain boots on this wooded walk. My shoes slip and squish on the muddy trail while trying to avoid the large puddles. On the way, a rainbow stood out brightly against gray clouds. Heavy rains hit just before my friend and I hit the trail, making the path extra slick and the greens of the moss and ferns glisten as the sun peaks through breaks in the clouds.
Winter is still very much alive in the woods. Barren branches on the trees, fallen leaves on the way to decay, moss and ferns among the only life in the woods. But as I focus my eyes to notice the details I see buds on those spindly branches, white blossoms appear on the Indian plum, and spotted among the ferns are nettles.
Tender leaves still tightly wrapped and wrinkled from their winter cocoon. Rising above the earth they are among the first to grow as winter begins to wane while spring shows herself. But maybe new life is also a part of winter. Reminding us that death isn’t an isolated event. It’s not simply part of the process but in the midst of death and decay there is also life.
Yesterday, in conversation with a friend she said, “holding the beauty and the tragedy at the same, that is the point isn’t it?” I think what winter is teaching me on this walk is that even in the darkness, the obvious season of decay there is also growth. It’s not just spring, it’s not that one season is all death, tragedy and sadness but winter also holds the quiet revelation of growth and new life.