This past winter has been cruel.
Wind-chill-warning cold and snow upon blowing snow battered Winnipeg.
Any harbinger of spring whether crow or soft south wind has been eagerly anticipated.
I remember as a child eagerly waiting for the signs of spring. The caw of the crow in the morning. The warmer rays of sun forcing the snow into retreat.
Each morning in March, I would look out our farmhouse bedroom window to spot any evidence of water showing through the snow in the pond below the farmyard.
But March was a fickle month – bright days of warming sun, then the cold north winds returned as if in an epic battle to keep warmth at bay.
But, April held the promise of spring. The sun’s strengthening warmth forced snow crystals into water drops and then, one morning, the evidence of the pond appeared. The ice-laden creek soon became a tumbling, flowing torrent, black earth, long hidden, restored to potential fields, and precocious dandelions brighten the south side of the house.
Winter’s brutality, no match for April’s kindness.
Spring officially arrived in Winnipeg last Sunday. Water flowed on the streets and snowbanks began to shrink. But the epic battle between lingering winter and the new life of spring is hard-fought in Winnipeg. The winds shifted to the north a few nights later , pummeling the city with a cold blast and bringing more snow.
On February 24 the world began to witness another epic battle.
The powerful weapons of the Russian army were let loose upon the Ukrainian people.
Rockets, both sonic and traditional, destroyed homes, hospitals, and schools driving millions to seek shelter. No match for the firepower of the Russian army, nevertheless, the Ukrainian people fought back. It seems the strength of national passion proved a strong resistance against Russian tanks.
The world responded with an outpouring of kindness and relief. Powerful nations retaliate with sanctions while leery of provoking World War III. But like the epic battles of spring warmth and winter cold, of good and evil--might and compassion get locked into prolonged struggles.
We watch with horror as buildings crumble, hospitals burn, and schoolyards lay strewn with rubble. One man’s reckless greed, armed with awesome might, appears intent on destroying people, a nation, and a culture.
Do the warm winds of justice, love, and compassion have no power to push back the cold strong winds of hate, greed, and destruction?
The warmth and beauty of Spring come slowly to Winnipeg. While cherry blossoms appear in March in other parts of the country, trees blossom in Winnipeg in late May. But spring and summer do come. Will the outpouring of support, the expressions of love, the acts of generosity toward the Ukrainian people eventually bring peace? When will the wolf lie down with the lamb? When will night’s sadness be replaced by morning joy?
I await the sight of that melted snow in the cold, frozen field of hate.
I await to see reckless destruction become a tumbling, flowing torrent of restoration.
I await to see black earth littered with burned-out tanks, restored to potential fields of wheat.
I await the sight of golden sunflowers brightening the south sides of the Ukrainian homes.
Hatred’s brutality is no match for human kindness.
Enjoy reading this blog? Read Three Wishes, a short story about Hanna, Rebecca, and Ruth and their relationship struggles. You’ll find this in my recent publication of short stories Fire and Iron; Stories of Fidelity, Infidelity and Daring Commitment.