January… The trees are stark and bare against the gray sky. Their leafless branches quiver in the icy wind. The skies are silent as the birds have migrated to their winter homes. No movement on the snow-covered ground, as many animals have burrowed in to hibernate or come out only momentarily for food before scurrying back to their warm dens.
It is easy to see why many ancient cultures saw winter as a time of death and lifelessness. The trees seem to die as they shed their autumn leaves. The animals disappear from the land. Food is scarce. Many people did in fact die from cold and hunger and disease, before the age of modern comforts and technology.
But it would be a mistake for us to think of winter as completely lifeless. Life is present even when it is not visibly obvious. The trees are waiting to put forth new leaves after the spring rains. Animals do survive the winter months though we may not see them as frequently as we do in warmer seasons. The birds return and flowers bloom. It is all there waiting to be born again. Life is there, even if it is just below the surface, where we must look a little harder.
How fitting that the anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes at a time when all around us life is quietly tucked away in the midst of the winter calm. We know (indeed it is a scientific fact) that life can be present even when the outward signs, things visible to our naked eye, suggest otherwise. The leafless tree still though it seems barren, still contains its sap and is ready to put forth buds. The animals that hibernate through the winter months, still breathe, their hearts still beat; they will emerge at the appointed time. And a child in the womb is sleeping soundly awaiting the day of her birth.
Life is there, though we may not see it directly with our own eye. We must remember this as we face the long cold winter of abortion.