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A Poem By Paula Sandford

A Poem About the Seasons

written Christmas 1948 

By Paula Ann Bowman (later, Sandford)

Paula was 17- years old in her first semester of college
and had just met her future husband, John,
a few months earlier. We hope you enjoy!

With the passing of each autumn into winter, cold and bleak,
A million leaves fall lifeless to the earth to lie,
To rest, to die, and myriad snowflakes fall to
Smother out the flame-like small faint tinge of red
Which lingers on. The leaf lies on the soil till it is soil.
Winter goes, and come the warmer winds of spring to
Melt the snow. Deep from the new rich earth comes life,
And new born strength shoots upward through the roots.
The tree responds with burst of green. The glad world sings!
Warmed by Mother Sun and cradled in the breeze, each tiny leaf
Begins its life - it grows from youth, then blossoms full maturity,
And comes the autumn once again. The leaf with passion
Spends its reservoir of strength, and all the world is painted
By the beauty of its dress. But as inevitable
Winter comes, so, too must die this leaf. So follow
All the years - with spring and summer, autumn, winter -
Each a new life – spent - and death.
Each one of us who calls himself a child of God is but a leaf
Upon a single tree. That tree is God, and though its
Leaves are some so beautiful and others not, each
One is needed, else a branch would be unclothed and bare.
Oh, that I might grow and flourish nearer to the heart
Of that great tree - that its life-giving sap be
Sent a' surging through my veins to give me
Strength to cling - unmoved by foreign winds which
Strive to tear away and carry me to lands afar - to drop
Me in the filth and mire of worldly pleasure
Which would eat away my flesh till I become
A part of the debris. Oh God that I might
Blossom on the tree of life eternal --
Blossom with a splendor and a radiance which would say
To all the world that I am Thine; that all
The strength that I might have is spent for Thee,
and all of my desires but for Thy glory.
And God, when autumn comes to me, may I,
Too, wear luxurious color, not to glorify myself,
But Thee. And when it comes my turn to drop from off
The branch and fall to earth, may I have lived so richly
And so near Thy heart that I become a part of that
Rich soil which hugs Thy roots and helps to send the
Constant flow of strength to leaves newborn. May we,
The two of us, dear Lord, work side by side;
I, Thy companion - Thou, my eternity!

© Paula Sandford 1948

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