Outside it is 22. This morning it was 0, and will be again tonight. But something has shifted. Standing in my socks and sweater on the steps out back (pants too), it didn't feel cold. I could see my breath, but I could not feel the dry cold in my throat. I've not felt real sun in days, maybe a week (what a busy week), and though I am not really a sun person, feeling it meant something today. I was cold, yet I was warm, and it wasn't just the sunlight.
Dozens upon dozens of robins and chickadees, sparrows and blue jays, dart from ceder to elm to gutter's edge, their feet on the metal echoing down into the house. I hear a woodpecker from somewhere in the stand of trees. Chickadees chase and call each other, meticulously tracing each other's path like a snake's body. There are more geese at dusk, larger flocks pacing west toward the open cornfields and farm ponds.
It's not spring, we are 20 degree below average, and this is fine. The 6" of snow in the garden is lovely, keeping my fall transplants safe. Along the house's south wall, where the snow is gone, the preserved green of tansy and penstemon and agastache nearly fool me into believing it is April. It's not spring, and this is fine.
Inside I'm laying on the couch, sunlight warming my feet only, not reaching in to the living room as far as it did just one month ago. I'm reading a book. I'm thinking about both of my memoirs--one ready, one in the research stages. I'm wondering what I'll find in Kansas. I'm daydreaming about planting yellow twig dogwood and carex and liatris. Will I find any trace of my family? Of myself? Two robins scrape the tree line and settle on the roof--I hear them chasing each other across the asphalt shingles. It is a spring rain. The rejection letters in the mail are almost always positive now. We are in transition. The lines are blurred. It is winter. And so it must be spring.