I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Spring.  Last week, the snow began to melt and give way to the spongy, muddy earth that tells me that Winter will soon be over.  Then it happened.  Before I’d had a respectable amount of time to complain about the muddy shoes and the kitchen floor, another storm blew into town.  The only thing springlike about it was the wind that usually belongs to March.  The snow blew and drifted and the wind sculpted waves that made the backyard look as though the tide had come in and frozen before it could recede.  It was beautiful; and I really do like to savor each day as a unique chunk of life.  So why am I melancholy when I feel as though Spring has, once again, been delayed?  As I stepped outside to see the new snow, my eye was drawn to the raspberry patch.  There, in the middle of a frozen wave, the canes that will support the fruit of Spring stood knee-deep in Winter.

Seeing them poking through the snow gave me hope.  Along each stem I could see the nubby little buds that one day would burst open and reveal green leaves.  The buds are there, just waiting for the moment when the warmth of the sun makes it safe to appear.

I stopped for a moment and realized that the message of hope from the winter berry canes is that life will go on.  This is an important thing to remember in the middle of a too-long winter!  Sometimes it is an important thing to remember during the course of a too-long day.  Even at the moments when we feel knee-deep in life, it is good to know that we still carry buds of potential that may be closed tight today but will burst into being when the time is right.  This is the message of the patient raspberry plants, standing knee-deep in the snow of a long and cold winter:  Life will go on.