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December 07, 2016
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The Language of the Seasons

Photo by Ross Brinkerhoff

By Rey Barreto

Summer came and she danced to the music
of live bands at county fairs,
and the Delaware River spoke to her of romance
and childhood dreams,
her youth melting like ice cream
on a hot August day.

Autumn came and its leaves spoke to her of all she had lost,
things she had to let go of,
they spoke of her past loves and friendships,
so many lost in the wind,
a few who returned with new beauty and color.

Winter came and recited its poetry to her in its white language,
and spoke to her of the cleansing and purifying of time,
the loneliness of having lived a long life,
the chilling breath of death so near,
always so near,
having only her memories
and the wisdom of her years
to keep her warm.

Then Spring came and spoke to her of faith and hope,
another chance to grow in new ways,
and reminded her that aging is just
living through the seasons,
of itself not a bad thing,
for rain must come, snow must come, change must come,
but the tree that learns to bend in the cold wind,
that learns to endure the loss of autumn’s leaves,
that survives merciless summer’s scorching sun,
the tree that learns to grow strong roots in the right soil,
listens to all the seasons’ teachings
and finds joy in the listening.