Sentries stand watch,

As beauty fades softly away,

Guarding until dawn.

This is a scene from my backyard.  Years ago my mother gave me a gift of a clematis plant, which I planted next to a section of our backyard fence.  Over the course of the years, this plant has grown and taken over that particular section of fence, now stretching out a good twenty feet in length and at least 3 feet wide.  It possesses beautiful yellow lantern-type flowers, that when they fade away in the fall, leave these haunting wisps in their place.  I like to think that this plant is a symbol of the beauty that exists in every stage of our life.  It’s easy to recognize the blooming beauty of youth in spring and summer…but is the beauty of fall and winter, that  of something that is not new and fresh, any less beautiful?

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