She wasn't a very brave violet, probably because she was alone. She had hardly opened up, and I almost missed her crouching there by the sidewalk in Missy's front yard.
The first violet of spring is like a gift to me. Some years I look for it, going from house to office and office to car and car to classroom with my eyes for once in the present, scanning any patch of grass for a glimpse of purple. Other years, like this one, the first violet sneaks up on me, startling me with hope.
Every year the violets come. Every morning the sun rises. Some winters seem to last forever, but eventually snow gives way to sunshine every time. And my God is forever as sure as the dawn.
I know I ought to let them live full, happy lives, but for years the first violets have found new homes between the pages of Psalms or Hosea or Song of Solomon. Today's violet may read less truth on her wallpaper, but it seemed fitting to slip her between my hand-written ramblings of hopes deferred, of promises certainly coming but yet to be fulfilled, of longings that linger like a Wisconsin winter.