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Paul MarianiApril 05, 2024

When I walked out this morning to pick up
the wind-scattered litter, I caught that sudden
flash of inscaped brilliance: a single crocus
along the south side of the house. Lonely, cold,
but stubborn, it had somehow managed to rise
up from the half-frozen, slowly thawing soil.

Thinking about it, I took it as a sign of hope
after the recent loss of two old friends. Besides,
the sun was shining now, and though it was still
late winter, a sign too that spring was on its way again,
as I felt the gift of warmth there on my face.
A single crocus, yes, but count that one enough.

And, in truth, isn’t this the way grace works?
The incessant weight of each day’s news, the wars,
the famines, those daily losses, the sadness of it all,
and the little we can do to change it, though God
knows I pray about it every single day. But then
you catch those grace notes singing silently about us—

a child’s smile, my dear wife’s Irish soda bread
fresh baked for breakfast, a neighbor smiling
from across the way, the sudden play of sunshine,
these trees about to stretch out buds, good news
emails from your grandkids, and the royal
purple of that single crocus calling out to you.

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