We may be in the depths of February, the middle of winter, but there are clues that we won’t be encased in ice forever. Sure, the snow keeps on coming, and the plowed mountains of it around parking lots will be with us till May, but each morning the sun rises a few seconds earlier than the day before.
Our conditioning starts in November when daylight savings time ends and we have to slog to and from work in the dark. The winter solstice passes almost unnoticed in December, overshadowed by the holidays, then sometime in January the sun is actually rising during my commute. What a difference that makes. Seeing the rosy sky makes me smile and feel hopeful about the day. Even if it’s 5 degrees out with crusty sidewalks and the sun isn’t melting anything, it feels less grim.
I recently had to update my computer password: I added “sun” to it. Wishful? Or maybe a silent invocation. Even on the dreariest days, I type those letters as if they had the power to part the clouds.
Growing up, the first sign of the potential end to winter was snowbells blooming in the yard. It was exciting to spy this impossible flower that literally might poke up through the snow. As the petals spread to reveal a green center, it seemed too delicate to be so hardy. It’s no surprise that people recommend you keep fresh flowers in your house during the winter. Anything to add color and remind you that the earth isn’t dead.
It can sometime be harder to let the light in. Our wall of windows seems porous in the winter, and the cold seeps in. Closing the blinds and drawing the curtains may warm things up, but the shafts of sunlight add an important element. One of our house plants has long tendrils that curl into the window frame, determined to find the outdoors in all seasons. Light is more important than temperature.
Fortunately, February is a short month, followed by March which is now the start of daylight savings time. That clock change won’t influence the temperature much, but the added light to our day will certainly lift the mood.