Here in New England, the birds are starting to sing again outside. That means spring is approaching. Slowly, steadily—it will bump around in the shadows for at least a few more weeks, teasing us with 40 degree temperatures that drop down to 20 in the evening and come wrapped in a strong wind that make it feel like 10 degrees.
But there’s a big brown muddy patch in the backyard that was covered in snow a few days ago. And the branch on the arbor vitae that hung over the fence doesn’t touch the ground anymore because the ice weighing it down has melted off. I can walk down the front steps less gingerly, as no black ice is lurking.
Still, we’re not out of the igloo yet. This has been an exceptionally cold winter, from sea to shining sea. The lettuce and cucumbers that fill a refreshing winter salad are at least twice as expensive now because of cold Florida temps. The sale of light bulbs has gone through the roof this winter because of all the dark, cloudy days in so many parts of the country. And I’ve had to have my tires realigned twice already because of all the potholes that have jumped up and swallowed my wheels as I drive along.
So I’m retreating into semi-hibernation for the next few weeks; I’ll come out at the first sign of a crocus. I plan to clean the house a bit, rounding up the dust bunnies and breaking down the interesting yet indeterminable piles of stuff. It’s also time for a soul cleaning; Chris Padgett’s “Spirituality You Can Live With: Stonger Faith in 30 Days” should be just the ticket to bring me into spring. Kevin Wells’s “Burst: A Story of God’s Grace When Life Falls Apart” is a real pick-me-up book, as well.
What are you doing to make it through these waning weeks of winter? (Please don’t respond if your answer is “Going to Cancun” or another warm place.) What are the bright spots in your winter sky these days?