Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)
- TITLE: Old Man Winter
By Donald Ford
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Every sleeper was waiting for the opportunity to show their face. Each wanted to embrace the Son. Old Man Winter had other plans. He would stay forever if it weren't for the grace of the Warm Turnings. These were the activities of the earth, as it rounded its way toward the Son's full light.
The rebel, Crocus, was unafraid of Old Man's face. She could endure his bracing winds. She was able to look Winter in the eye. But the gentle ways of Crocus didn’t permit frivolity. "If we cannot face our fears head on, why are we here?"
"Who is it that dares to defile my Winter Wonderland? Why would anyone want to spoil my chilling endeavors? Be warned, I will hurt you."
The King of the bitter realm of Frigid Land was unaware that Crocus was small or he would not have even entertained her. All he heard was a powerful voice that was emanating from the ground. He would certainly have had a laugh, if only he’d known who was addressing him.
"Sir, stop frightening all my friends. We so out-number you, and when Son King joins us, you won’t be able to withstand us. Gone, will be your frosty blast, and your blankets of snow. Who invited you here in the first place?"
"There’s a time and season for all things under the sun. My turn is now!"
"No one will debate the Great Law, but it’s also true that even as 'Weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning.' We are representatives of the Great Day."
"That day is not here yet, so back off!" The look on Old Man Winter's face could have frozen a lake solid.
"You’re right, but you have also overstayed your welcome. You’re forgetting who leads the Kingdom of Sonlight. You need to start packing. You’ve made a mess of this world, and if I were you, I'd be ashamed."
"Why am I even talking to the likes of you? Why do you think you were chosen to be spokesman for everyone else?"
"Because I’m one of the first to proclaim the Kingdom of Sonlight, which we’re all a part of. I’m one of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood of flowers, that we should show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light."
"Show your face. Are you the great Sunflower I have heard of?"
"No, but he’s here with us. We’re many, as I’ve told you. We cannot come until you’re gone."
"Then you must be the Great Cactus with thorns to intimidate me."
"I come with nothing more than words of determination to let the waiting world know that the flowers of the earth will break forth. You’ll see me, but won’t recognize me, as you’ll be looking for something mightier, as you view yourself. I am Crocus; your worst nightmare."
"Why would I run at the sight of you? Are you a mouse and I an elephant. You can do nothing to me."
"I’m not alone, but the Son comes with me. He leads the Kingdom of Sonlight, and you’re a lesser king. Those millions of us, who wait for your departure, don’t want to hurt you, so be on your way. Shadow, Darkness, Cold, and even Death are your minions. Make way for the emissaries of Light, Freedom, and Joy.”
In silence, Old Man Winter bowed his mighty head, shaking off the icicles and the snow that he wore on his heavy winter coat. No other words were spoken, but a Frigid Cold moved over the whole earth as he departed.
The world broke forth into a chorus of color and smiles. The birds joined the singing and actually cheered each flower on; one by one breaking free of their dark prison. Into the light they climbed at their appointed time. First came Crocus.
The end of the long cold night was over and all welcomed the Son King in his splendor. He said to each flower face, "You are like me in my Glory." With that word, the flowers' faces all glowed and gave off such radiance that it nearly blinded the creatures living on the earth.
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