Cherry Shadow

While news of blizzards in the north filled the weather channel last week our temperature highs were in the sixties with the lows a pleasant thirty-five to forty. The groundhog saw his shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter. But not in South Georgia. Here, spring has already arrived, at least temporarily.

The Indonesian cherry tree and the Japanese magnolia, mingling branches beside our driveway, were so beautiful it was like heaven come down. By the way, the Indonesian cherry may also be called a black cherry and the Japanese magnolia may be a saucer magnolia. But we were introduced to them by these geographical names. I like to think of them as a link to neighbors in Asia. Whatever they are called, they are wonderful trees, pretty and graceful the whole year, whether bare branches in winter, bursting shades of pink in spring, or lacy and green in summertime.

Walking by the trees one day I was struck by their beauty, not only blossoms on the branches, but blossoms strewn thick on driveway and ground around the trees. It seemed thy had very generously laid out a red carpet for me. Observing the graceful shadow of the cherry tree on its own pink and red ground cover, I snapped a picture.

Only a few days later, the scene is very different. The blossoms have faded and leaves are budding, another stage of beauty. Though Japanese magnolias down at our corner and along the street are just at their peak, the one I walk by every day has only sparse blooms left. Some petals are still drifting down when a cool breeze picks up. The glorious carpet is mostly brown and dirty looking red, damaged by time and weather and foot traffic. Around on the other side of the circle driveway, snowdrops are blooming, tiny delicate white bells amongst a tangle of winter brown lantana branches. Camellias are ready for Valentine’s Day in pink and red and white. On the pine tree by the mailbox a jasmine vine that could not be coaxed to bloom at all last year has now come alive with a wealth of gold flowers, new ones every morning.

How amazing is it that every season, night and day, sunshine and shadow, shows forth such beauty! I look at that picture I took a few short days ago and enjoy again that cherry tree shadow across the blanketed ground. That show has faded now but new wonders are opening up, like the white iris (Mamma liked to call them flags) and azaleas and soon tiny violets in the grass. A flock of robins arrived yesterday and had a wonderful party on the lawn, circling the rim of the bird bath, and chirping from high branches. Today no sign of robins. Instead, finches and cardinals flash bright colors from feeder to shrubbery. Almost every day there is something new opening up, flying in, adding different colors. Our yard reminds me of the constantly changing patterns in a kaleidoscope.

March may be blustery, cold, and wet. But today, February 8, the sun is bright and our cats are lounging on warm pavement.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Psalms 33:5


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3 responses to “Cherry Shadow

  1. Thank you for painting such glorious pictures! The only thing we have here is a beautiful pine tree outside my window. A couple of Christmases ago, snow had dressed our pine tree. Just as I was telling the tree, how bee-u-tea-ful she was, along swoops on top a red cardinal. I wished, oh goodness, how I wished, I’d had a camera. “You know you can’t take a picture,” I berated myself. “Well that may ttrue, but what a beauiful picture that would’ve made.” I replied. About then, in walked Joan, Emily, and Carol. And I had to start all over.

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