As she opened her eyes, the snowflakes greeted her like giant icy confetti tossed lightly and indiscriminately by the sky. She had grown accustomed to the snow, although she had never fully abandoned her longing to live in a world that was always in bloom.

As she rolled out of bed and stretched her aging muscles, she faced a large oval mirror. Rather than the usual routine, which involved an earnest effort to recognize the image that greeted her each morning, she looked past her wearied reflection and again contemplated the frosty dance outside. It seemed like each snowflake was taking its time this morning, twisting and turning, throwing the light from the brilliant morning sun all round it, and then flitting its way to the ground.

In the autumn, the snow would arrive unannounced and herald the coming winter. It would usually take her some time to accept the season’s inevitability and turn her thoughts to the short list of winter activities that could carry her through to the thaw.

But the snow this morning arrived on a day that fringed at the end of the dead season. The flakes that had alighted on her patio earlier had attempted to gather at dawn, but now they melted quickly after their landing in the warming sun. They swayed and glittered through the air in their finishing act, singing their way to their final and quick demise like a thorn bird in its branches.

Today the snow did not bring the weight of knowing the warm season was over, but rather reminded her that the winter was coming to an end.

She was a summer child, born in winter. Her first glimpse of nature had been a bleak introduction and, as an infant, she could only hope that this new world she had been brought into would reveal a more welcoming face some day.

Little did she know that the season of her birth was in fact a prophetic view of sorts, and that a child born in winter with a heart full of flowers and endless sun-drenched beaches was very rare and precious indeed. This kind of girl would know in her centre the art of embracing elusive dreams; the careful task of finding treasures hidden in the snow of icy winters would become commonplace and invaluable when it came to the winter of the soul. She would be the rose that grows out of place in a desolate land, bringing hope to the sojourner and always stretching out toward the sky and to the maker of the sun.

For the summer child, born in winter, does not grasp for a dream that will remain out of reach forever. She is a girl who knows that there are promises yet unfilled, made by a Maker who never lies. She no longer waits to be removed from a land of ice and snow. Instead she rises and looks to the horizon for the coming dawn, for the moment when the land becomes a garden once again.

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