The Quiet Battle

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We left home several years ago in the wee hours of a January morning to attend a 10:00 funeral that was 3 1/2 hours away. On the drive we passed a beautiful farm where the morning fog was just beginning to lift. Last week we made the same trip for yet another funeral and we passed the farm again, but this time it was a bright summer’s day. I took both photos through the car window with my cell phone. Same farm, different season, years apart!

The following is a re-post of a story I wrote the first time I saw the farm:

THE QUIET BATTLE

Morning fog invades a lovely Kansas farm in the pre-dawn hours of a clear winter day. The fog will lie low for a spell, transforming rest into stubborn courage for the fight that looms ahead: an inevitable skirmish between Fog and Sun.

As Fog hunkers down, it blankets winter wheat and hugs the stubble of last year’s corn which lay dying in the field. It settles itself along the fence that separates the farm in stately fashion and it laces haunting fingers through the trees. It covertly surrounds the silo, the barn, the shed; and forms a luminous halo around the single light left burning to ward off possible dangers tempted to lurk in shadowed corners.

At sunrise, the battle begins. Fog is brave and refuses to yield, but the fight does not rage for long. Sun is a strong and formidable enemy. Flanked on all sides with no place to hide, Fog is swiftly defeated. Forced to surrender, a virtual white flag is waved as it retreats.

When the farm is fully bathed in golden rays, you would never suspect that a quiet battle had ever taken place here.

The Eve of Spring

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On the eve of Spring,

the earth is a dirty place!

A rowdy Fall seems to have

flung things here and there

and Winter stubbornly refused

to pick them up.

The result is a sad chaos

of decaying leaves, abandoned nests

and an impressive assortment of litter

from some drunken teenage party.

Twigs and broken branches

are strewn like tiny corpses

on the ground.

Emerging from the dead,

Spring instinctively will come

bringing with it

an elixir of cleansing rain.

Following the purge,

rejuvenation is conceived.

Every long-forgotten seed

soon starts to grow, and the

landscape will change

before our eyes.

But for now, trees bend

like little old men,

crippled by harsh winds

and the burden of snow.

From their stooped position,

they lift their weathered faces

toward the sun – as we all do,

on the eve of Spring.