Sniffling.  Coughing.  Late nights.  Middle-of-the-nights.  Early mornings.  Cooped-up, we seem to be passing around viruses like a bowl of popcorn.  Someone takes a handful. Spends the day on the couch.  Then the next person.  Another day on the couch.  Dog laying on feverish feet.  Lots of Barnyard Tea (our family’s name for Buckwheat Honey with warm water and lemon).  Every day I wash a load of pajamas and hankies.

Tonight, walking the dog in the newly lit evening, it felt so good to be outside without a hat. The wind was not yet cold enough to be anything more than energizing.  The rain, that came earlier in the day, left behind a warm, muddy-earth smell that made me believe that we’d see the sun again.

Rain in February makes me cross.  Makes me look longingly at my cross country skis, standing in the corner like they’ve been bad.  But rain in March, that gives me hope. Soon our plain brown farm eggs will be boiled and dyed.  Dresses admired.  Cakes will be baked, dinners planned.  Baskets will be decorated.  The tulips are already starting to peek out beneath their beds of compost (part of me wants to shout out, “Be careful!  Not too soon!”)

We’re still snuggling under layers of blankets and winter quilts.  The snow shovel still stands at attention, next to our front door.  But just as we shed our own aches and chills, I expect that the world around us–soon–will do the same.


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