H. Todd Thomas
Sept. 29, 1998
The blossoms grew from a tall tree in the front yard.
A projectile that gathered leaves only in the fall,
Was precariously balanced against the wall.
I was sure it would fall over any day.
The summer was coming to an end —
The hot languid summer — and fearfully so.
I wasn’t ready for it to end.
I kept thinking if the reds and oranges turn to browns and grays,
Then I must be turning gray myself with despair.
No love around, no joy,
Just the autumn gloom.
And then, I see the blossoms.
“Blossoms in fall?” I asked myself.
“How can these new blossoms come out in the fall?
Or for that matter, at the end of summer?”
Don’t get me wrong.
Nothing pleased me more than to see those blossoms.
In fact, I almost picked a bud off to show a friend.
Then, I stopped myself
Knowing full well that in plucking it,
I would also destroy the beauty and wonder of God
I beheld in it.
So I left it to be, on that tree.
I came out two weeks later to find one blossom remained, as pure as ever,
As radiant as a sunbeam showing through clouded skies.
The blossom’s beauty gripped me tighter that a giant’s fist grips the clouds.
And with the mild, soft, almost breathless wind moving through the tree that bore this flower of God,
It faltered, wavering as if on the edge of life itself,
And delicately sauntered to the earth, still lovely in its death.
I mourned for the blossom,
And for the other blossoms that died.
They did not know their hour,
Yet gave of themselves without prejudice or vice,
Without shame or second thought.
Their life of beauty served a greater Good.
So noble are those who like these blossoms
Show beauty and goodness to others
And even through their deaths are eternally remembered.