Diane, a Summer Sprite, felt odd. She knew it was dangerous to continue her work beyond the first early frost. Cold and shivering, she stood upon a rose petal, glancing a look at herself in the whitening haze of an icy dewdrop.
Her lace-like wings had turned brittle, and she knew they would dissolve like vapor in the coming hours. Summer Sprites were never to dare the cold. It was a law as old as the earth itself. At the slightest breath of chill, they were to fly back to their winter home, beneath the roots of nearby willow.
There she would sleep, warm and safe until early spring. There she would dream of her craft. Taking brushes made from cotton bolls and peacock quills and dipping them into silvery buckets filled with the light of celestial suns and painting dewdrops on morning flowers. Plying her craft, loving her work, for the joy it brought to the world.
But tonight, the roses would be gone, deadened by an unexpected freeze; it was a cycle of life that she understood, but was now strangely haunted by a mortal’s prayer she had overheard this evening.
“God,” the mortal prayed while seated at a jetting fountain, “help me. Spare the roses this night; it is my wife’s hope. Even just one white rose.” The man began to sob, groaning in words only God could understand, sobbing for only what God could provide.
The prayer was broken by the man’s cell phone. He answered. “Hi, Sweetie… Yes, but first she wants to come here.” He glanced around. “This place comforts her, gives her hope. She’s bringing her camera, wants her picture with the dew on the roses… I know it’s supposed to freeze.” He sighed. “I’m leaving it in God’s hands… I love you, too. Yes, see you tomorrow at the hospital.”
Diane watched as the man left.
“It was what you were called to do,” a voice rose up within her said.
“But the roses will be deadened tonight. The first freeze is coming,” she pleaded back.
There was no answer to her petition, only silence. Chilled, she repeated what the voice inside her had said; and then, suddenly, without reason, willfully dared the frigid night, ignoring a law as old as the earth itself, to complete the craft she was called to do.
In the cold morning mist of the next day, a man wheeled a woman warmly cloaked before him. “The roses are dead,” the woman’s voice caught as her chair’s wheels scrunched over the graveled path. “I so enjoyed them, especially the white ones.” Her voice grew fainter. “The morning dew, its light, gave me hope.”
“I’m sorry,” the man answered.
“No.” She drew deeper into her cloak. “It means nothing.” She clutched the camera she had brought to capture the roses and shook her head. “I wanted so much…” her voice broke with a sob.
“It meant a lot. I knew it was to freeze, but I still had hope.” He moved to wheel her out of the garden.
“Stop!” she cried, pointing a gloved hand to the fountain he had prayed at the night before. Her voice began to fill with awe, and bloom into anticipation. “It’s a miracle,” she exclaimed.
The fountain had frozen overnight and etched upon its icy spray stood hundreds of climbing white roses, delicately entwined with icicle canes. And, on each rose, a single crystalline dewdrop reflecting like diamonds as the sun broke the eastern sky.
“When hope is restored, it is a tree of life?” The man whispered.
“It is, Dear, indeed it is. Quick now, take my picture before this miracle melts. Then get me to the hospital.” Her voice rose in confidence. “I have a surgery to get through so we can get on with our lives. This is such a blessed day.”
The man took her picture and as he turned the wheelchair to leave, it bumped against the fountain, loosening a patch of lifeless hoarfrost. A sudden breeze lifted the rime and carried it over the fountain, across a frozen pond and into a cavern hidden beneath the roots of the nearby willow.
It was here another miracle occurred. From the warmth of the cave, the frost melted to a pool of water. It shimmered with a light beyond itself, and re-awakened the spirit within. Diane, a Summer Sprite, was re-born that she might once again ply her craft for the hope it brings to the world.
Based upon Proverbs 13 v 12
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