I don't know that I've ever settled into or been grateful for the dormancy of wintertime as much as I have this particular wintertime. This winter, with its Dutch oven, and cord of firewood, and quiet talks, and long walks, and black-bean soups, and beeswax candles, and cable TV, and milk frother, and eucalyptus baths, and our little animals, and worsted-weight softwools, and waxflowers, and wooden table . . . well. It's spoiled us a bit. We're soft now, I guess. I was going to take a little Clovermeadow animal for a walk yesterday but it just felt too cold, too windy, too rainy, and too wet outside for such comfort-loving creatures as we. So instead we scouted the yard for signs of spring and came back in with these cuttings (comfort-loving botanists). Turns out that if you're really looking, underneath the muck of rotten leaves and winter weeds and the soft slime that autumn left behind, there are tender greens and petals at the ready. Delicate, determined beauties. I wanted to find them. I'm not that anxious for spring, really. I just like to know that it's coming, someday. I like the quiet moving-toward. I like the hiding wonders. I like the longer, still-cold days. I like the translucent, nervous greens. There's a bird that sings in the early morning now, the past week or so. His song is so loud and vibrant against the silverquiet of the mercury-gray sky. I hear the trilling when I open the back door to let the dog out at dawn. It's a new, wild, disorganized solo, and I love it.
I took artistic license with the grape hyacinth above. He actually lives in a pot in the dining room. His younger cousins do live outside by the front picket fence, but are only showing their leaves. They're several weeks out. Perhaps I'll try to clean up the yard (which is a mess) so I can watch them come up from the dining room window. Or maybe not (too warm and lazy).