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Outside, downed trees from winter’s storms—

almond orchards,

decaying oaks,

leaning pines draped in lifeless boughs, dried and browned…

the roar of the chain saw,

jeans, boots, layers of clothing to protect his body from chilled winds,

a pair of worn leather gloves on capable hands willing to toil,

as the back of an old pick-up is slowly, steadily, filled with firewood,

free for the taking, free to the working,

to be split and stacked and burned.

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Inside, a blaze heats their living space

from a woodstove she once eyed strangely—

yet now this work is merely routine,

vital, significant to the season,

keeping blusters of wind and rain and cold on the other side of walls.

Now, home would seem bare without the familiar warmth,

the comfort of logs burning fiercely

against elements threatening the sacred place where family abides within.

Though, wood necessary for warming

brings dirt, debris, dust, soot,

ashes gray and black and always present.

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But with the passing of winter, the coming of spring,

little by little fingers of cold loosen their grip,

and fires in the woodstove are needed less,

as frost melts and frigid gusts wing themselves away to the North.

Soft breezes sweep gently, fragrantly across the hills,

as eagles, hawks soar on ribbons of air

high above grasses waving,

streams of water laughing,

kid goats romping, grazing, reveling under heaven’s canopy…

Windows open, inviting, welcoming,

reaching to embrace the season of nature’s rebirth.

The whole earth pulsates, awakening in song,

and all her creatures delight in its arrival.

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My spirit sings as well.

And my hands reach for the broom, old rags, a duster—

it’s time for spring cleaning!

Sweeping and sorting through piles of stuff

accumulated from too many hours of staying indoors,

 whisking wood chips and ashes into the dust pan,

and closing vents,

I bid winter a temporary Farewell

until we meet again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two thousand years ago

God undertook the task of spring cleaning.

His Son, the One solely Innocent,

was stripped naked, beaten, his body lashed through,

tortured beyond recognition,

then slammed on two wooden beams, crossed,

His arms and legs pinned by iron spikes,

crucified,

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shamed and raised on a hilltop for all the world to see…

some jeered at the Man claiming Divinity,

some stood in silent wondering,

some wept while others walked away in search of a new thrill,

as one final blow—

the sword of a Roman soldier—

pierced His mangled body.

Darkness descended on every level,

as the Lamb of God voluntarily bore the sins of humanity…

and earth and heaven watched, silent, while blood and tears fell to the ground.

 To be continued…

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