Winter goes on around us. The snow is deep, the temperatures still nothing more than just plain cold, and ice is everywhere. Surely, more snow will come and we will find ourselves once again cozily gathered round the hearth while a wild winter's storm blows outside. We'll follow that with days spent in the snow on ski, snowshoe or sled. We're not done yet with the deliciousness of hot cocoa on a cold snowy day....or the warm layers of woolen against our faces. There is more to come.
And yet. There's something. Something in the air. It's not something I can smell yet. And it's taste can only be hinted at in the earliest of early maple sap drips that my little girl sneaks. But, oh, assuredly, it's there - this feeling of anticipation and excitement for what comes next.
I hear it as neighbors young and old, from here and from "away," give themselves in to the indulgence of talking about temperatures and taps and the very best of February garden intentions. Vegetables, fruit trees, and berries.
I see it as we more hurridely check things both little and big off The List in hopes of wrapping up as much inside work as we can for now. For we know that coming months and seasons will be full - oh, so full - of a new outside work we have been dreaming about for so long. Planting, building, tending.
I notice it with the shift in how our time is spent out of doors. While the kid play continues, we adults find ourselves spending a little less time joining them and instead getting a head start as we mark trees for tapping, measure pasture for fencing, and fell trees for seasons and seasons away.
I feel it with a sometimes sense of urgency, and certainly excitement, as I think about what must be done in order to prepare for all that is coming. The baby that is coming, the seeds that are coming, those chicks, that event. On and on and on.
And I know it in my very bones. In the way that one begins to do after 35 years circling round the sun from this very spot on Earth. I know that just as sure as these February days are long and cold in their beauty and struggle - so, too, will they quickly be replaced with the green growth of spring, the birth of so much, and the presence of new life everywhere. Another glorious spring is upon us.
But not too fast. For all of that is to come...but not here yet. Right now is its own special time that I don't want to miss. This morning there is a light dusting of snow on the trees, the oatmeal and tea are warm as my little ones sleepily come down the stairs to start their days, Papa is on his way in from morning chores with frosty breath, and someone sits by the fire waiting for a story.
Right now is good.