Season of ripening fruit and seeds, depart;
There is no harvest ripening in the heart.
Bring the frost that strikes the dahlias down
In one cruel night. The blackened buds, the brown
And wilted heads, the crippled stems, we crave –
All beauty withered, crumbling to the grave.
Wind, strip off the leaves, and harden, ground,
Till in your frozen crust no break is found.
Then only, when man’s inner world is one
With barren earth and branches bared to bone,
Then only can the heart begin to now
The seeds of hope asleep beneath the snow;
Then only can the chastened spirit tap
The hidden faith still pulsing in the sap.
Only with winter-patience can we bring
The deep-desired long-awaited spring.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh “No Harvest Ripening”