Monday, February 23, 2015

A Faithful Maple

Outside the nursery window stands an old, weather-torn maple tree. In the dead of winter, without her leaves of green or gold, she cannot hide her battle scars. Despite her many amputated limbs, she reaches her aged and knotted branches to the bright blue sky as if in faithful worship.

The sun is shining through the window as I sit in my comfortable tan chair rocking my baby girl to sleep. Although my heart feels weary, a melody escapes my lips and she listens intently as she sucks on her pacifier and rubs the silky fabric of her bright pink security blanket, her eyes growing heavy with each note.

I close my eyes as if to capture this moment in my mind forever. These moments are fleeting and rare. There’s peacefulness in the room, but inside my heart feels about to burst. My arms are tingly and shoulders tense. I try to focus on the gentle motion of the rocking chair, the baby’s warmth in my arms, of just breathing. I should feel at peace, but I don’t—this realization makes my heart ache.

I open my eyes and glance out the window to see the branches of the old maple tree. And suddenly, two mourning doves gracefully glide through the air, land on a branch, gently ruffling their feathers and then settling in, side by side, on the knotted old maple tree.

A peacefulness washes over me and tears slide down my cheeks. How could I have forgotten? I am reminded that there is always hope, that there is always strength, and that I am never alone.

Later, when I hear the babbling of a happy baby girl who has woken from her nap, I make my way back to the nursery. I cheerfully scoop her up and cover her in kisses. I glance out of the window to see that the doves are no longer there, but the old maple tree is still standing, reaching her aged and knotted branches to the bright blue sky.

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