The trees of winter have been catching my attention. Their barren limbs reaching up to the heavens … bleak … yet hopeful … life hidden by the starkness of winter. And then in my reading last night, Lamott referred to the trees in winter. The context is in developing characters for a story … “You can see the underlying essence only when you strip away the busyness, and then some surprising connections appear.”
Just as the tangled branches are evident in winter, when the clothing of leaves and flowers are removed, so the inner connections of our lives are revealed in stillness, quietness.
In the deep of winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, waiting silently and patiently for the sure hope of summer abundance. Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped for the first time the extravagance of God’s grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he himself was seemingly dead, but God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree “first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God,” and a love for God that never after ceased to burn. ~from a biography about Brother Lawrence.
All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed! A liquid moon moves gently among the long branches. Thus having prepared their buds against a sure winter the wise trees stand sleeping in the cold. ~William Carlos Williams