Winter- A Poem
Erie, yet beautiful
Ice encased skeletons
Shimmering in the sun
At any moment the ice may be too much
Sending branches crashing down
Snobbish evergreens pay their toll
Bending pathetically before breaking
Deciduous stand silently
Beautifully shimmering in the sun
Ice encased skeletons
Simply waiting for spring
This poem was written while sitting in traffic at a red light looking over the frozen, snow covered landscape. It is in the silence of winter I find I write some of my best pieces of poetry. There is something fantastically dark, yet gloriously luminous about the winter landscapes we see. A lovely balance between light and dark, life and death. Winter gives us a chance to recharge ourselves and meditate on the life we lead and the natural world that surrounds us. Capturing the beauty of the natural world around us and preserving it in the written word is something I have always strived to do.
The poem talks about two types of trees, the evergreens and the deciduous. The evergreens keep their green color all year round, sometimes at great expense and risk to themselves. The deciduous trees, however, shed their leaves in the fall to protect themselves from the harshness of winter. The loss of these leaves is triggered by the change in temperature or the amount of water available to nourish the trees. In some areas both the change in temperature and the reduced amount of water trigger this change.
The deciduous trees, in a brilliant and colorful farewell to the warmer seasons, shed their leaves to prepare for the darker days of winter. Blazing in glorious shades of red, yellow, and orange they make us aware that change is coming and winter is on the way. They wisely conserve their resources by letting go of their lovely foliage and "sleeping" the winter away. Surrounded by ice and snow they stand completely dormant, a shadow of what they were, awaiting the spring when they will once again bud and bloom. Occasionally they will fall during the winter but their bare limbs make this a less likely occurrence.
The evergreen, proudly maintaining their green all year round, often fall prey to the heavy winter snows. The price they pay for keeping their green is literally a loss of limbs. They are encased in ice and catch snow on their limbs, eventually they can hold no more and they bend then break. They also risk becoming the target for insects and animals seeking shelter and food during the barren months of winter. Animals will feed on the foliage the evergreens have, which in most cases creates a browse line. Anything within their reach is eaten, creating a noticeable line across the forest.
The trees remind us that every season does indeed have its turn and warmer days are always just around the corner. Prepare for winter so you are able to enjoy the warmth that will follow. Sacrifice now so you will once again thrive. These are some of the lessons the trees will teach us if only we will take the time to listen to them.