February is the shortest month, and usually the hardest here up north. We have a disease called “the Februaries”. Its symptoms are malaise, dismay, a general sense of why bother. Those of us who enjoy silky stockings and gossamer fabrics, delicate shoes and such, are tired of being swathed in layers of coarse, thick wools and downs, heavy boots and thick socks. Our hands are rough and raw, from shoveling and maybe carrying wood in and out of the house, and we are lucky if our pipes haven’t frozen, our car batteries gone out, or (if we are more intrepid) if our ears have not been frost-bit while bicycle riding. We have had the cold or the flu for weeks, and it doesn’t seem to go away, no matter what.
But we can be consoled to know that we have only a few more months of winter to go! And then, when we see that it will be slipping away, we remember to enjoy its particular magical beauties: the sparkly starry nights, with soft snowy fairy-dust in the air; the silvery moon gleaming in the silence; the wild slabs of ice thrust up against each other in the river; the manifold animal tracks in the snow; the red cardinal against the white.
It is already getting lighter at night; we can see our way through. Keep on, my friends, keep on.