The sun is bright through my window this morning, enough that I had to adjust the curtain. I have heard more bird song recently, so it must be time to move my desk back in front of the window, and to renew my supply of suet cakes and birdseed. Though the spring bulbs have been pushing up through the cracked garden dirt for several weeks now, it is a bitter 10 degrees outside. Not as bad as last night when the wind was blowing sharp and cold. Nights like that I always recall the layers of long-johns and flannel, boots, gloves and full face hats required for doing chores outside the barn, and I am relieved to only face a walk around the block with the dog before my 6am coffee.
I sleep better this year in my room at the back of the house, and my earplugs, though I am sad that I missed the ambulance that arrived in the wee hours of the morning for my neighbor’s mother. I would have liked to have been there for her; to offer to walk her dog, or to sit with her at the hospital. Fortunately her son was in town visiting, so probably best I was not intruding at such an intimate time. This follows the weekend funeral of a young woman, the daughter of a friend and co-worker, who has been fighting cancer all year.
Midwinter is a time of loss that flies in the face of the harbingers of spring.
Ah – enough of sad talk.
The bright sun is streaming through the bare trees and finding the gaps between curtain and window casing. I have to twist my head to keep it out of my eyes as I type and I can feel its meager warmth on my arm. Geraniums stretch toward the promising rays and glow green.
The other day on my walk to work I was treated to a glorious music. The oaks retain their leaves, and in the breeze they made a rustling choir to mix with a creek running fast with melting snow and ice. A cardinal I could not see added his budjie-budjie-budjie to the mix, a somewhat more lyrical voice than the raucous crow song I hear most during the winter. Yesterday’s dawn was the low cry of a mourning dove, or perhaps an owl I am not familiar with.
Perhaps it seems silly to talk so freely of spring when the furnace is still working hard to keep the house comfortable, but the little sprigs of green and the changes in animal patterns herald the arrival of spring as much as those first cold breezes of September and the turning of Maples from green to red and orange warn of winter’s approach.
Better to celebrate the lengthening light than to curse the darkness – to paraphrase an old proverb. And it is the season of Lent which asks us to prepare ourselves for the coming Easter, another tale of springtime light and joy wrapped with its own portion of darkness. Just three more weeks until Daylight Savings Time begins and the light will flood our morning windows. And with that the dog insists on her second walk of the morning which means I will have earned my second cup of coffee. Time to get fully dressed and clean house! And what is that I hear outside?
When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin’ along along
There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbin’ his old sweet song
Wake up wake up you sleepy head get up get up get out of bed
Cheer up cheer up the sun is red live love laugh and be happy