A Pinecone's Perspective
It was yesterday, or it might have been a year, or maybe a hundred more, ago. But it happened one day that a woman, upon seeing a wealth of perfect pinecones arrayed about strewn leaves, stopped to pick them up. Arms filled to the brim, she made her way home, delighted with her find. For on her mantle and her shelves, her cupboards and her counters lay green boughs in abundance. It was the start of Christmas, and all through her house, the smell of pine wafted about, though not until yet had there been cones. And there is no lovelier sight, the woman and I both agree, than pinecones amongst green-needled branches at Christmas.
Why this is so is no mystery. The cedar boughs bring to mind the hay that lay in the trough at Christ’s birth and bid the Child welcome. And no fragrance is so sweet as the smell of pine branches with needles gently crushed releasing the pungent aroma of joy. Add to those boughs the fruits of their year’s standing labor, and the décor is complete.
But pinecones when plucked from the ground are meant to stay as they are. And in this particular case, one did not.
The fact came to the woman’s attention one day, as she cast her eyes over all the loveliness in her home, that one of her pinecones no longer spread its scales to the candlelight about it. All its furled fragments had suddenly meshed tight against the spine, as though to keep out all dark and cold, and in doing so all warmth and light.
But the woman did not fret. For it is likely that some things, when they come to new, need time to keep close and test the waters of their fear in confinement. And so she did not push or prod or force the little cone into unnatural being. She gave it time, and coxed it with loving words that spoke of the joy of Christmas time.
As though in response, each day the little cone grew more bold, and cracked open bit by bit. Until the day it burst forth, in all its glorious unfurling. And that was the day the snow fell softly, and the world grew still, and suddenly, as though by magic, it all seemed wondrously bearable.
And while it may seem
that such days are more than rare,
perhaps there are more than we think,
if we only slowly stare...