News and Tribune


February 11, 2013

CUMMINS: The heart needs warming in winter, too


Modern conveniences warm older, thin-blooded bodies that get daily exercise sitting and twiddling their thumbs. It’s lonely during a long-winter lock up, so you find a new hobby — watching temperatures drop on the Weather Channel. Layered fleece keep our outer bodies warm, but during this hibernation, our hearts desperately need a bit of warming, too.

Since friends moved south, or in seclusion like you are, you grind out the days waiting until the warm sun breaks through. To fill time you look out the window and watch the weather change. A few weeks ago, I noticed a new friend perched out there on top of a tall holly tree. It was loaded with clusters of bright-red berries spaced near perfectly amidst the shiny, dark-green leaves. That tree, contrasting with the long black trunks and limbs of surrounding taller trees, is one spot of cheer that refuses to disappear. From my second-story window, the top of the holly tree stands about 12-feet away where Mr. Mockingbird sits.

Although he does go roam, I think that tree is his home, because he never fails to return to his favorite place. When I go to that window several times each day, he’s usually there, and when he’s not, give him a little time. The best time one has is at his home. That must be why he returns there, and so do I.

From my window, I see him, but his window is a wider expanse, unrestrained by the barriers we place on ourselves. I wonder if he wonders. What does he know, and what do I? He seems to be contemplating his base while surveying the surrounding space, seeing a different world with eyes that penetrate. What does he see, and what do I? With confidence, he’s proud of his vast place. I see winter’s blend, revealing that soon will appear an imminent warming trend.   

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