February Days

A spell of warm days has melted the snow. The grass, although looking like someone just recovering from the flu, dull yellow and bent over, is a welcome sight. So too is the sun, spending a bit more time with us now. The hens are beginning to lay more eggs thanks to the extended daylight. Young children are waking earlier too, stirred by the light.

In the fields horses have begun to frolic, jumping about and playing tag rather than standing inert and huddled on the lee side of their fields, cold breath blowing from their mouths.

In the morning, while lacing up the boots, a sideways glance at the summer sandals, tossed months ago into the back of the closet brings a smile. And what about that smile? It feels a bit rusty as if also hidden away in the closet with the beach towels or lying dormant under a covering of winter weather. A furrowed brow seems to fare better while gutting it out through a tough Island winter.

And it has been tough. Although the Island did not receive the multiple blizzards the rest of the Northeast experienced, winter is always hard here. The darkness seems to hover over everything we do, in particular the last few years as the recession continues to take its toll.

But spring has always been a time of hope. Like the chickens, we too seem able to hatch more plans as we begin to prepare for the coming season. At this point it is too early to tell what our lives will be like in a few months. The economy, although showing signs of life, still sputters. Will the weather cooperate like last year, or will it resemble some Biblical plague of rain showers like two years past?

It is impossible to know right now what our best laid plans will yield. And perhaps this is for the best. Far better just to pause for the moment, like children playing freeze tag of a late summer evening, feeling the warmth of the sun overhead and an endless stream of possibility blooming within.