Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February's Last Hurrah

A frigid wind sifts the snow from the pine trees and steals into the cracks and crevices of this old house. Yesterday's snow blankets the garden and the fences, and creates its own light in the cloudy darkness of the winter evening. Last night, as the snow was falling, I took a short walk -- the snow was heavy with moisture, coating each tree and bush to create a wintry wonderland. The silence of falling snow soothes my soul, and I love nothing better than a solitary walk in the snowy darkness.

In the Northeast February is usually a month of deep cold and frequent snow. Everyone is weary of winter and depressed as new snow falls. However, if you observe closely, there are subtle changes during this month that herald the coming of spring. By mid-February, there is a shift in the angle of the sunlight that speaks of spring and the hours of daylight become noticeably longer. When I rise in the morning now, a gentle dawn has already begun and some mornings I am greeted by the song of an optimistic bird or two.

As I gaze out over the snow-covered world tonight, I remember that by mid-March I am often out in the garden gently removing the winter covering of leaves that protects my perennials and marveling at the tiny green shoots which sprout beneath the mulch. But, for tonight, I will savor this lovely silence of deep cold and snow -- a peaceful gift in these final days of February --

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