Heavy-hearted, I awake before dawn and sit in the silence on the back porch. The low clouds roll quickly by, veiling and revealing the stars. Far off, bright burning beacons of light and joy and hope blazing in the firmament.

So clear one moment…obscured the next...

The moon’s shining silver sliver paints the world in dim shades of blue-grey. Colors muted. Forms indistinct. Textures vague. Only the faint scent of spring’s first blooming buds whisper the end of a long winter.

And a long winter we have endured. Full of fear, frustration, famine, pestilence, war. The world feels drab and colorless. Faceless masked forms pass expressionless in the streets. Another variant. Another tragedy.

Will this ever end?

Yet, as I sit in silence, a lonely bird voices a cry of joy in the darkness. Suddenly, the sky seems less dark. The stars fade. A change is coming! A second bird enters the aria. An enchanting duet of mirrored melodies fills the heavens. Hope builds in my heart with the coming dawn. So slowly, so very slowly, and almost imperceivable the sky lightens. More and more singers fill the trees with numerous instruments, a great triumphant symphony erupts in the stillness. The coming light exposes a world of shape and form, color and hue, texture and depth.

This long winter will not endure forever.

Take courage, my heart, and wait and see the coming of the dawn of spring.

Hold hope and wait and sing.