If you stop to look, you might notice the sun’s slant is a little more direct; less low on the horizon.  During the solstice days it slanted and slanted and never came overhead.  Shadows in profusion.

But now it is starting to climb and Inga asks “Mama, when is it going to be spring?”

In years past I wished these short days and long nights away.  Counted the days, the weeks, until the sun set after 5.

This year is different.  Long, starry nights are permission to curl up by our fireplace and read delicious literature while the fireplace roars and flames smile at me through the glass.   I read Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  I read Zeena, by Elizabeth Cooke, and I looked out at the moon, which was blue this last time.  And I thought, with some regret, that the days will lengthen and the fireplace will be dark before too long.  And we won’t be close together as we are, near the fire playing board games.  We will expand in the spring air and spread out.

But not yet.  It is still January and Imbolg is still 3 weeks away.

In the morning there are little bird tracks in the snow.  Laurent tells me they are made by black-eyed Juncos.  Little puffy dark birds.  They leave delicate little prints in the round, frenetic patterns birds make.  And this week two foxes in the snow.  Two!  Flaming orange, swift, graceful, and gone in a flash.   Like magic.

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