a life

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I shiver from the cold as the last of my petals fall to the ground, my leaves are gone and I am nothing more than a withered stem. Finally I crumble as my life is chased out by the cold winter wind. But I am never truly gone, when my time comes, I will be back to where my broken remains once have laid.

I wait for half of a year, resting, watching, for the signs that I can live again. The long cold months are a time of rest for me; I wait and collect myself, getting ready to live once again. The other living creatures of the earth wonder where I have gone; they wonder if I will ever come back, marking the end of winter. I will come back, but not yet, I must first get what I need to live; I must collect from the ground, from the icy snow, and from my own hope of survival from my small, warm home under the ground.

In these long months with short days, I slumber without the touch of life; it will not come yet, not for what seems like an eternity. I grow restless as my wait comes to an end, the weather grows warmer, the snow melts, and the rains come. Now is my time to begin my slow journey to the sun. Coming up is the hardest part of being who I am, it takes many days and I must push my way through hard dirt and rocks, I must crawl through nests of insects and slip between dead seeds of those less fortunate. My home is far beneath the surface so that I can survive the harsh winter of the north.

As I near the surface, I can feel the warmth of the long-awaited sun warming up the ground which I travel through. The heat intensifies as I near the air. I move faster now that I know I am nearing the surface. The last few inches I rush in my excitement to become truly alive again.

I break through the surface and into the warm, sunny air. As a small sprout, I slowly begin my climb toward the heavens, with each passing day, I grow taller and taller until my stem is thick and strong.

I grow large green leaves that soak up the sun and give me food. Through the cool nights I huddle within myself to last out the frost. Sometimes, at this time of the year, the frost is too much for me to handle, and it kills me, freezing my stem and leaves, but not this year, this year, I press on and survive the nights. I watch the sun rise in the morning, its gold fingers reaching up into the sky. I see the sun set, lighting fire to the sky. Every day I grow ready to bloom, I sprout small, pale buds that look toward the sun.

The day has come that I will come to my full glory in who I am. My buds burst open and reveal large, colorful petals that are the life of summer and the reason for spring. These are the good days, with gentle breezes, warm, soft rain and bright sunny days. But good days are not to last, storms come, with their stem-breaking wind that howls through my leaves, it brings along crushing rain, and ground-trembling thunder that makes my roots quiver.

I stand tall and proud for months on end, with bees and butterflies drinking my nectar and spreading my pollen. Humans walk by and marvel at the glorious color of my petals and my lush leaves. Summer is good to me; I always have sunlight and water to keep me strong. But like all things, summer will pass by like a humming bird comes for a few moments then goes on its own way.

The weather gets cooler as autumn approaches, the birds that once walked beside me, now flee south for the winter to where they can be warm and happy. I stay where I am, still standing tall and proud, but I know that the good days are at an end.

I stand late into September, the cold wind biting at me as my leaves start to shrink, some of my blossoms have already lost most of there petals, and others have fallen off completely.

The days get shorter and shorter until I barely have enough sunlight to get through the long nights. I vainly wish for the warm weather to come back, but I know that it will not. My buds fall off, and my leaves float to the ground; I am reduced to nothing more than a shriveled, brown stalk, until life passes out of me completely. I do not worry though, I will be back, when the warm winds blow and the sun shines bright. I will be back.





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