No orchard’s the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn’t get warm.
“How often already you’ve had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.”
excerpt from Goodbye and Keep Cold, by Robert Frost
Soon after moving to Vermont, I planted some bulbs along the front walk. Nothing special, just some irises and daffodils from my Massachusetts garden. Then I planted chives off the back porch. With minimal care, these plants will be thriving long after I am gone.
Still, I’m concerned. Lately, the temperatures have shot up into the upper 40’s, and the ground hasn’t remained frozen. With the recent move, I’m not sure if the plants can survive the temperature swings. Winter is nap time for plants, a time to hunker down until it is time to produce again. It’s a rest period, a pause before expending energy in the form of flowers and leaves. What happens when there isn’t enough snow covered down time?
It’s something I think about in my own life, this need for a period of rest. If I don’t take a break from creating and producing, it won’t be long before I cannot produce much at all. Everything has a season, and dormancy is as critical a season as any.
But what if I stop producing? What if a dormant season isn’t a season – what if it stretches to become a barren life? That’s where trust comes in. That’s where the wisdom of seasons is embraced, and the faith that a growing season will return. Or, in Frost’s closing words,
But something has to be left to God.