It's still cold.
I fired up the espresso machine and made myself a hazelnut latte. I'm writing, sipping and looking out the window to the back yard, where the full moon is illuminating what's left of the snow, casting long shadows of the bare trees on the frozen lawn. The woods in back of the house are a stark sight. In summer they are a cool, dark glen under the high canopy of leaves. Now the bare arms of the trees seem to be raised in a pleading way to the clear cold sky. You can almost hear their wailing plaint, bemoaning their sorry state. The woods suffer in the winter. The dead limbs that, somehow, held out through the summer storms, now succumb, and fall to the ground, or lay on top of the honeysuckle bushes that line the paths. The bark of the maples, smooth and shiny in the summer, now crack and curl, like old wallpaper and the few remaining leaves on the old oaks rattle in the wind, dry and hard. The only spots of color in the woods are the holly trees, which this year are a riot of berries. It is said that you can tell how bad the winter is going to be by how many berries the hollies put forth. I supposed I noticed how laden they were in the autumn, but put it out of mind. It doesn't change things to ignore them.
I took my old labrador, Sheba, for a walk through the back woods this morning at sunrise. It was so still and quiet. Despite the cold, there is a bit of wonder to be had walking through the woods in the winter morning. We followed some rabbit tracks in the snow till they dissapeared in the underbrush and we heard a bit of rustling in a squirrells nest high up in a gum tree. And the ever present crows. Life out of doors goes on, in spite of the weather.
Be well.
I bid you peace.


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