Winter’s Blooming

It’s been a while since I joined in at D’Verse, but seeing the prompt, I couldn’t resist. D’Verse prompted us to write haibuns with the theme of ‘celebration’.

Christmas in New Zealand is quite different than here in the Netherlands. My family celebration back home was marked by things like a BBQ lunch, swimming at the beach, a family game of cricket or touch rugby and lots of summery and creamy desserts – all after our family Christmas service at church.

My husband and I got into the tradition of doing Christmas in New Zealand (with my parents and siblings and their families) every year with our girls. That is, until the girls’ Dutch school made that too difficult for us (not giving us permission to take enough extra leave) and then two-week-long hotel corona quarantaines upon entry in NZ making it impossible. It’s been more than four years now since we’ve been “home”, but I am so thankful for the gift of video calling together across the oceans. It’s not the same, but it is such a sweet comfort.

As I looked out at our backyard today, reflecting on the prompt of celebration, I noticed our blossoming tree. Yes, strangely during the darkest and most dismal winter season of the year, our tree loves to show off fresh pastel flowers. These blossoms bring bright light and color to an otherwise dying world surrounding them.

It reminded me how in the darkest and most dismal times of our life, the light of love in fact also shines the brightest. This light doesn’t take away the hard we walk through, but it does soften and warm our hardening hearts through the cold, joining us together in love, even ocean’s apart and into eternity. In the twinkling of the stars through the darkest of nights, I often think of those, like my Mum, who have gone before us, and I find such sweet comfort in the Promise:

Yes:

We have a bright tree

It’s blooming through cold wintry

Gales and darkened skies.

New to Haibun? Write a paragraph or more of prose, or prose poetry, then follow it with a haiku—one that includes a season word, and juxtaposes two disparate images that, when paired, give us that “aha!” experience.

24 Comments

  1. Such lovely and wise prose throughout your haibun. When I see “miracles” like your tree blooming with blossoms in the dead of winter, it makes a believer out of me. Really hoping you get to see your family again face to face soon.

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    1. That tree is always such a comfort through the winter days.

      Thank you for your sweet wishes, Lisa. We are hoping the quarantaine lifts come July and that we can visit with my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews then. We were so blessed to have my Dad here for 3 days from Germany – his German wife encouraged him to come. He’s now back in Germany in mandatory quarantaine 😅. Off to visit your site!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Anna, your post is in itself such a bright spot for darkened skies! You’ve captured the feeling of the surprise of a mid-winter bloom so well. We are too cold here for outdoor blooms, so we cherish our indoor plants. I pray so much that you will be able to visit and celebrate with your family again next summer. Love and hugs across the sea!

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    1. You know, Bettie, it bloomed through the deep freeze last year too- the year the girls got to skate on the canals. It’s a strange tree 😊. So glad you have indoor plants bringing cheer.

      Thankful for your love and prayers. Love and hugs across the sea to you too 😘

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  3. Your New Zealand Christmases sound wonderful! We live near a town (in U.S.) that celebrates their Dutch heritage with Sinter Klaas Day, early in December 🙂 My grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands

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    1. That’s so neat to hear of your Dutch connection and that they still keep up the traditions in the town near you. Our girls are spoilt every Sinterklaas by their Opa and Oma who fill two sacks with gifts for them.

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      1. Lynn: for some reason your site isn’t allowing me to comment. I keep trying to “log-in” to be able to do so, but then it keeps showing up that I am not logged in yet, after I do log-in and it won’t let me post anything. I loved your post. So neat you live near your grandkids.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. … in the darkest and most dismal times of our life, the light of love in fact also shines the brightest. This light doesn’t take away the hard we walk through, but it does soften and warm our hardening hearts through the cold, joining us together… I often think of those, like my Mum, who have gone before us, and I find such sweet comfort…

    You are such a lovely soul, Anna. This is really touching.


    David

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  5. I love this:

    ‘in the darkest and most dismal times of our life, the light of love in fact also shines the brightest.’

    It’s so true, and I love the bible quote you included. I hope you get back to NZ soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ingrid! I hope so too. Look forward to visiting your blog tomorrow: we have been visiting friends on the other side of the country today, so I haven’t yet been able to visit many D’Verse contributors.

      Liked by 1 person

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