the ice and the sky are different shades of the same early morning, subtle pink through dreary white and beige and grey and the faintest of blue bouncing off from somewhere in between the browns of dried grasses and leafless trees.
i look down the frozen lake at the beaver lodge as I’m putting on my skates for the first time in almost a year, loosening the laces and then re-loosening the laces, finally my feet fit and slide in snug.
the cold air is still and awake and i am alive in it. i remember how to move, slowly, steadily, and probably not the most gracefully yet something so elegant about not lifting up clumsy feet, and pretending instead that i float on this water turned solid
i stay on the far side of the lake from the beaver lodge because things look watery over there, they break the ice around their lodge from below with their heads, or their tails , or something s says and the dusting of snow on the ice is perfect to see the tracks of a canine leading from our near shore to the lodge that just can’t be a domestic dog because dogs are too clumsy to make straight lines like that.
when we free the garlic from the too-dense matt of winter mulch so it has enough room to breathe
spring air and extend its fingers and toes, and so do I now, both of us me and garlic sticking out our noses just a little bit farther to smell
walking home sloshing through puddles in dark green boots, seeing shades of light green dark green middle green poking out from all of the corners of the street and sidewalk and a pink child’s sunhat laying in the middle of the road
getting rained on.
the pink halo that I see from far away around a tree, and come to find is actually hundreds, thousands? of red flower buds blooming
on the maple
i drive k and e to the train for their adventure south just as the sun is
i drive home from the train and thread my way through the morning mist
i arrive home to empty the bucket of maple sap from the tree in the yard into a pot on the wood stove (still unlit) (too warm)-which makes five pots of varying sizes- all full to the brim with maple sap, waiting. to boil.
i put on leggings and sneakers and run around the block because it is already almost warm enough for a t shirt, and i see j who is also running, so we run together for five minutes.
we drink maple sap in the open doorway.
all before breakfast.
the red winged blackbirds come out and I see them in the garden and the air is thick with shorts and tank tops and rushing river melt.
i press send on the seed order for the plants i’ll tend in the spring.
the chunks of ice shrink in the shade.
i go to bed before the stove is ever lit.
the cooking pots of sap will wait for tomorrow, when we light a fire, when it is winter again.
identifying the mid point in winter, like i would notch
its height in a tree trunk, marking this moment in time.
seeing the last month laid out in front of me in the form of 3 by 5 watercolor drawings, (the hobby that is as new as this year) that are resting on the floor next to the lamp
and the aloe plant
seeing my name tag, (the one from the meditation retreat) (the retreat that set the tone for everything that has followed)
in the thick juicy aloe leaves
wrapping myself in a blanket and slipping my feet in oversized boots, to walk outside at the turning point between night
and day, to see if i can spot the blue super moon in the early morning.
and seeing it across the road through the neighbor’s trees, looming above the horizon, i want to follow it somewhere i can grasp it more fully,
but i don’t, and i carry my longing back inside,
slipping off the boots, and climbing the stairs back to bed