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July 1, 2012, vol 8, no 2

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Dan Hardison


Winter in July

It was during the last game of the fall soccer season that we met a fourteen-year-old girl named Sarah watching her friends play. Talking with Sarah off and on, we learned that she did not play sports – a bit clumsy, she loved music and was taking piano lessons, and her family was going to Disney World in a couple of weeks. She was pretty and bright, but also bubbly and polite.

sparkling in the light
like gems of russet and gold . . .
the frost covered leaves

While walking to the parking lot after the game, we learned that Sarah had an inoperable brain tumor. She had perhaps six-months to live. After that day, we occasionally heard updates on Sarah as her health declined. On July 2, Sarah died. I only met her the one time, yet the sorrow was great.

the last dream
interrupted on waking . . .
clouds drifting

In a poem by George W. Jones, he speaks of how our lives mirror the seasons. “Spring time is birth time, / the time of quickening / summer is the time of growth, / of fullness / autumn sees maturity, / ripeness, and passing / and winter is death.” His focus is on those of “venerable age” who have reached their winter years. So, what of those whose winter comes too soon?

day fades to darkness
through a rainbow of colors . . .
a prayer without words




crane