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Boreal Community Media

The Beauty of Promise: An essay by local Cook County author John A. Bragstad

Apr 14, 2023 11:41AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Amritanshu Sikdar

By Local Author John Bragstad for Boreal Community Media - April 14, 2023

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned  

there was in me an invincible summer.”  

Albert Camus 

Crouched in the tall grass and the receding undergrowth are tiny seeds. They are all wildflowers waiting. Time will launch these once again, to our delight. But for now, they are lying nestled in the dark browns and blacks of exposed ground. 

No one I am aware of celebrates this sight. Few look to see what is at their feet. Here, dormant seeds reside in secret. They are a whisper to the brushed breezes moving over the ice along the north Superior shore. 

Sheltered away, flecks of purple and white and rose and gold all await their turn. They cheer on April’s variations in the weather, a  prelude to new beginnings. 

We often place great value on the start-up of things. We are tentative until things prove themselves. We are prone to wait for visible results before lifting that glass to celebrate.  

But seeing the end as once holding the seed of something beautiful is much harder to consider. We can often assume that if things appear NOT to be happening, ideas will never germinate,  no matter the soil or conditions. 

Vision is the word we use for people who can somehow see, even in simple beginnings, the towering tree, the splendent flower, the fruit of blueberries growing on the ground once swept by fire."

Knowing and believing in the end of things is what sustains us.  For the artist, the entrepreneur, the seeker, the pilgrim, thoughts of wildflowers growing in unexpected places give them hope.  

Vision is that shooting star that leads to optimism and an unyielding spirit. 

These seeds buried in springtime all are teachers. They hold so much from what appears to be so little. So surprising they will appear where only months before they were invisible.  

Taken for granted, I never noticed or gave a passing thought to these treasures waiting for me under my feet.

Related: Meet your Boreal Community Media Freelance Journalist: John Bragstad

About John A. Bragstad

John A. Bragstad has been a therapist, working with couples and individuals, for 25 years. He is self-published and is enjoying retirement. Lake Superior is just off his front porch.

He has written three books: Compass Season, Loon Laughter at Midnight, and Who's Watching Whoo? They are available in Grand Marais at Drury Lane and Lake Superior Trading Post, or at

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