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The Spring of Redemption

The rain dropped lightly into the await­ing puddles pleating them with care and promise. Thaddeus sat quietly on her worn rocker watching with patient hope. Her worn eyes alighted with rejuvenated sparkle on the blurred outline of trees. Spring arriving. The rain was not only to be tolerated but hoped for; the earth would be thirsty upon awakening from the per­sistent drug of winter. The snow lay in diminishing piles behind the thighs of the hills in vain hope that its existence would be prolonged for a short while. The rain was, however, persistent; it regarded itself as the forerunner of spring and prodded the earth to awaken from its winter dreams for it was almost time! The fulness of Time . . . Spring!

Although the winter had been long, Thaddeus had observed it with the perseverance of the wise. Locked within this house the days merged into one another, recognizing the boundaries of morning and evening by varying greyness. Day wearied into evening with only the ebbing and falling of anemic whiteness and yet Thad­deus waited for a sign. A sign of redemp­tion.

There was no present escaping from this house, dilapidated and inadequate though it was. Somehow it no longer bore the on­slaught of the seasons; it seemed to allow the cold in to lie in the comers and over­take warmth. Thaddeus bore all the in­dignities of the house: in part because she was resigned to their necessity, but mostly because the thought of spring kept her warm, clothed her, and took the place of food. As long as she remained vigilant in her watch for spring it would come. And with an almost maternal satisfaction she watched the warm rains lay the ground work for the conversion.

For a week the rains devoted their time fully to the thawing of the earth; but once the last tenacious mound of snow had reluctantly dissolved, the clouded heavens parted in reverence for the appearance of the sun. The earth, struggling to digest the last of the rain, turned its face grate­fully to the sun to be dried and warmed. The sun went about its work with thorough­ness and indiscriminately shone on old Thaddeus, causing her to blink with sur­prise and un- characteristically break into laughter.

For days the sun and rain alternated their nurturing of the earth, allowing the wind to announce the spells. The earth became pliable and one day without warn­ing a seed deep in its heart stirred and began forcing its way up, up . . . . Thad­deus, knowing that the time was nearly at hand, and hardly able to conceal her antic­ipation, eagerly looked for the red breaking of the new day. The old house in response to the barely concealed excitement suddenly seemed more liveable and its shackles less binding.

One morning just as evening and dawn embraced and withdrew, the seed burst forth in fresh greenness. In gratitude the plant perused the constant attention of sun and rain. Thaddeus was content to remain within the house observing with joy the greening of the earth. But one morning in the midst of Spring, Thaddeus awoke to find the shackles loose; the house had fallen. She arose with new eyes, and ran barefoot among the greenness, savoring its perfection, touching the bursting flowers with reverence and laughing as never be­fore. Joy! Peace! Eternal Spring!