Snow that crunched underfoot just last week makes a sighing sound under my boots. Icicles that clutched the roofline have cried themselves to death. Dawn came with a mere lightening of the sky, but birds sang as though they knew the sun was somewhere rising; the cardinal and its mate dropped liquid notes into the morning, the jay sang its squeaky wheel song.
Rain and then snow and then rain fall, a curtain of moisture linking earth and air, making the snow and sky one color against which the stark branches of elm and oak and maple are lightly penciled. The light is cottony and soft, holding the day in suspension between brittle cold and increasing warmth. Despite its lack of color and definition, it is a hopeful day, easing the way between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, teasing with its relaxation of winter’s cold grip on the land and our souls.