Outside the window of this conference center room, small twin street lights lift their glow onto the snow lining the hill. Soft curves rim the base of tree trunks. Patches of grass stretch through the bare spots swept by the wind in winter’s sending of the last storm. Slight shadows trace the shapes of trunks and branches.
Beyond the narrow stretch of the street, only the closest trees show their shapes in grays and tans in the soft light. Beyond and behind them, the dark forms of other trees recede into the black blur of dusk and darkness. The snow still shows for the first hundred yards into the woods then disappears in the coming nearness of night.
Above the merging crown of branches, the last light of day casts a pale lavender into the overcast of fading light. Here, close to the wall, twin pin oaks stand just below the road’s low ridge.
In the cold chill of this lonely night, the quiet stillnes ripples slightly in the flexing of dead leaves somehow held to the oaks’ southern branches. They hold like old lovers to worn memories, living through the lean years but sure as tears that the coming season will bring fresh reason for hope.
In our longest winters and deepest splinterings, it is the stubborn hearts that survive the testings of our deepest deprivations. They know that the lonely night will not endure forever, no matter how dark the woods nor how cold the night. Those held by the Light will not lose their way.