News and Tribune


February 11, 2013

CUMMINS: The heart needs warming in winter, too


My holly tree tells many stories, the one of harvest in late winter when the robins return. They gather 200 or more, to strip the holly tree of its fruit ripened during the coldest days.

The story my robins tell is a lesson we can learn. They gather on the dormant grass and stark branches nearby. Then 10 or more at a time fly to the holly tree to take their fill. Once satisfied, the 10 robins glide away and wait as 10 more take their place.

It’s a communal affair, devoid of anxious greed, but instilled with patience and confidence there is enough to sustain them all. What do they know? They understand nature’s call, put in place by the power, which turns the cold into spring showers, then the flowers, a circle of renewal that is the reward. 

— Contact Terry Cummins at

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