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I am sitting in my little garden. It's a beautiful clear sunny day. Not too hot, not too cold, just perfect. A soft breeze cuddles the leaves amid a medley of bird songs and the shy footsteps of squirrels. Tiny delicate buds burst with bright hues... as if, just dotted by the dreamy hand of an artist, the paint forgot to dry.

It all looked deserted and devastated just a few days ago. A short-lived freeze had insisted on leaving its ruthless mark. I remember the first time this happened and how saddened I felt, how final it all seemed. But as the years went by, I learned to appreciate the purpose and wisdom of it all, to peacefully and confidently await the rebirth, as it was bound to come. After all, this is life. We lose, we grieve, we heal. And we live again, and we dream again.

I look around with gratitude in my heart and deep anticipation of the growth and beauty each coming day will bring to my little sanctuary. My red Kalanchoe and green Caladium plants have been my companions for almost 30 years. They have moved with me from home to home. They are my barometer. I look at them and my heart smiles. They are still there, where I lovingly placed them, and are busy refreshing and rejuvenating.

All is well. It was not the end. Just another renewal...

And the cycle of life continues... What a privilege to be a part of it.

"Yet the tree does not mourn the loss. While barren, it stands tall, ready to bear the burden of winter, for it knows that through hardship comes renewal." D.J. Niko

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