Winter has been a good season, really. It has been still & deep & close. Our family unit has withdrawn into ourselves, relied on each other, & snuggled in for long lazy cuddle sessions. I have had time to reflect on myself; who I am, who I want to be, & how to accomplish that.
Now we eagerly turn our faces to the warmth of the sun as he wends his way closer to our face of this planet. We look for signs of Spring.
Rue & I chase the patches of sunlight as they skitter through the house, from one window to another, following the golden beams around to the back rooms, where we watch the sun set. Rue waves & calls out a soft, "buh-bye". Then, after dinner, we look for the moon & say hello to her.
We live for warmer days, when we go for walks or swing on the porch. Ted & I spent a warm afternoon clearing away the half of the rosemary bush that died in the previous winter. We are hopeful that the rose bush it was strangling will return, while the rosemary can dedicate all it's growth efforts to the rejuvenated half of itself. We checked the fig tree, resurrecting as well from the bitter winter previous. This year, we insulated the gardens with straw. Everything is wick & tender new growth is ever so cautiously beginning to bud. We dream about bushes heavy with blueberries, fragrant lavender, ripe strawberries, & abundant vegetables.
Rue squeals over soft pastel green shoots she discovers in the flower beds, & dances around found snowdrops. She points at the red berries around the property, drawn by the single pop of color in a drab environment. "Red," we tell her. "Red berries. Red, like Ruby!" She nods & exclaims "NO!" We laugh.
She pats leaves & kisses sprouts & sings to the strawberry plants, which are already starting to grow for the season. She chases Zia around the yard, trumpeting "KEEE-TEEEE!" as Bilbo casts frightened glances through the cat door. He isn't so sure he wants to romp in the yard with this wild toddler.
The sun hangs low in the sky, a vibrant orange orb. Prismatic rainbows bounce off my lens as I attempt to capture this fey child in her exploration. I want to remember this moment forever. It's the first time she has really experienced the magic of new life emerging from the earth. It's the first time she has held cold, damp earth to her face & inhaled, her cheeks whipped a rosy pink from the last chilly whispers of winter.
In this moment, I find I do not mourn for the baby she was. Instead, I find I celebrate the toddler she is, & I revel in the glimpse of the little girl she is blooming into.