Come away with me, Darling. Let us go to the cherry tree. She tells a story to anyone who will listen. A love story. Quiet now--she is soft-spoken, barely audible above the drone of delighted, winged insects adorning her head. Look how her nimbus of pink and white locks rustle and curl so elegantly in the spring breeze against a backdrop of azure sky. Admire her with me and listen.
"It was not always so," she says. Only a breath ago, her limbs stood stark and gnarled, as grey as the winter sky--the very picture of death. A blazing Indian summer withered her former glory. The autumn wind tore at her, stealing away what was left until she was a ruin--nothing to look at.
But he looked. More importantly, he saw. Through a haze of ashen mist and a flurry of harsh, winter storms he kept watch. He never forsook her. He was enraged by her loss and grieved by her sadness. He sang to her songs of consolation and bathed her bare shoulders in gentle, yellow kisses. Even in repose she was precious to him.
All the while, he knew what was to come. He knew what he would do. He waited. He made her wait. She knew not his reasons. Was not her mortification complete? She reached for him in desperation, and gathered him into herself.
Unexpectedly, something changed. Congealed blood turned viscous in her veins. Her heart gave a laborious thump. Snow and ice melted, penetrating the hard soil at her feet. The mist above dissolved, and she could see him as he was. Not in part, but his whole! The voice of her lover called out to her in a tone of white light and searing passion--"Come forth!" She leaped at him from her tomb bedecked in lovely hues, smiling rapturously into his glowing face.
She lives! She is his. He is hers. Nothing can touch her now. She does not fret over wind or rain, not even the fiercest tempest. She joyfully offers sustenance and shelter to the tiny ones who need her--the stunning male cardinals who proclaim their grand intentions from her fragrant boughs, the buzzing things which surreptitiously sip the robust wine of one bud and then another until they drift away sleepy and askew.
She tells them all a secret which falls upon my ear--"New! New! I once was dead, but now am living! He has made new!"
There, Beloved. Now count the wounds her story heals.