They don't look like much, and many people don't even notice they're there until spring arrives. Then, perhaps because they are expecting to see signs of spring, they happen to look up and voilà, suddenly, it's spring! And as evidence, people point to the buds on the trees! They don't seem to realize, that on many trees such as my maple here, the buds have been there since the autumn!
What does all this mean? I think it's rather lovely that when things seem to have died and the darkness of winter descends upon us, already the promise of spring is there. It's on every branch, the promise in myriads of tiny buds, just waiting for the light to change, the warmth to return and those tiny buds will swell out into flowers and leaves!
Sometimes when I seem to be in a terribly grim season, my mood dark and feeling like the world is an awfully cold place, looking out my window to see those wee small buds, all over the branches of my maple, I remember to hold on. My spirit may be cramped into some tiny space inside me, but I know if I wait, the light will change, the earth will warm up and soon, I'll feel the creative juices arise and I will be able to grow and open out.