My morning walk was through the cold windswept countryside of the Pennsylvania farmlands. Clearly it was winter. Grass was now a light brown with so much of the frigid months weighing heavily on the foliage and outside near-unfriendliness.
Dressed right for this climate and time of year, I enjoyed being outside for a moment of contemplation. Breathing in the freshness of air that had blown clear and struggling rare rays of sunlight sneaking through a heavy layer of low hanging clouds was invigorating. Often I would pause and look over the valley below.
A farm was quiet on the other side of the highway. There were a few hardy animals slowly meandering in the pastures. They would graze contentedly. God gave them a natural coat that grew thicker in this time of year. Each one was comfortable, unconcerned about any inclement weather.
Then a gust of wind moved me. Quickly, I pulled my cap down a little tighter and pulled on my gloves a little tighter. My down coat was doing its superb job of keeping me well insulated against the dropping temperatures.
I looked up and found a reason to gaze. The trees that surrounded me were mostly sporting naked limbs. All of the deciduous trees had gone into winter mode, hibernating for months until the temperatures rose again in Spring.
My stare above continued. A smile followed. The scene captured my mind for a long moment.
While the whole valley had tightened down to survive another winter, there was lingering presence of perseverance. Above in the limbs of a tree, several leaves had stubbornly refused to “let go”. They were still hanging on.
The wind was swirling about trying to bat them off of their perch. But, tenaciously, their grip kept them locked into place. They would occasionally flutter but they would not be moved.
A large blowing wind moved the tree trunk, swayed the branches and even shook the cluster of leaves. However, they remained rigid at their connection. Several hold out leaves from a neighboring tree surrendered.
The sky was dotted with the last of the Autumn leaves that were driven out of their high perches and laid out as another piece of the natural carpet on the ground. Millions of leaves already gave the ground an insulated coverage. This cluster was still holding on.
I smiled. With a wink of my eye, I left them to stay their course. The picture of perseverance is a power vision to behold.
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography