New life hidden in a bud

If we pause to look, there are little promises of life all around us.

Yet we don’t see them if we’re rushing past.

Like these early catkins on the crooked hazel, I walk by daily.

Their camouflage is lovely as they blend in with the twists of the branches.

But look more closely; you also find tiny glossy, plump buds pushing out of the stems.

The promise of new life, even in the cold and dark depths.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes writes a simple poem or prayer each day in Unfolding Light. Yesterday’s reflection resonated with my experience here and the Darkling Advent journey from Gideon Heugh that many of us are following.


Coming on winter, 
          the cold circles overhead, a bird of prey.
The sun hesitates before rising,
          crawls up slowly through the plundered trees.
The branches seem more supplicant now,
          more clearly in need, and begging, reaching.
Yet look closely: the oaks already hold next spring’s buds,
          little fetal fists, nubs that snub the cold.
They know. 
          They are ready.

Might I trust that within me, too,
          even in cold and dark times,
buds of new life already curl
          around some invisible knowing,

+ Steve Garnaas-Holmes, in Unfolding Light for 16th December