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Hope Came Tapping at Her Window

Another long, gray Dakota winter. She didn’t know if she could survive it.

By Mary Emerson, Fargo, North Dakota

As appeared in

Now the tapping at the window continued, louder as the wind picked up. “Leave me alone,” I said, still focused on the dishes. “We should have ripped you out of the ground when we had the chance!”

But the knocking went on, insistent. Almost as though the tree were crying, Look up! Look at me! At last, I did.

I caught my breath. Framed in the window against the icy blue sky was something I had never seen in all my years in North Dakota. That day the temperature was minus 22 degrees, the world to all appearances locked in the death of midwinter. Yet the tree was bursting with life.

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Thousands and thousands of delicate pink buds were exploding from swollen pods, swaying with joyful abandon in the wind. I stood at the window a long, long time.

Yes, the glory in front of my eyes seemed to say, there are seasons when things look as hopeless as a toppled tree, as barren as a Dakota winter. Wait a while. Something stronger is breaking through.

We had a wonderful Easter.


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