It froze last night.
It was a deep frost, lacing the newly budding leaves with a thin web of ice before vanishing under the anemic warmth of the sun.
Just north of here, there are places with no months that are frost-free.
Spring is deceptive.
Other lands, other landscapes, have easy boundaries between the cold and the warmth.
It is possible to measure, scientifically, the sun angle and the number of days from the Equinox and speak knowingly of whether winter has vanished.
Here, it is closer to magic, to the alchemical process of transmuting lead to gold.
Watch the caterpillars, the shadows of the mountains, the movement of air down the river valley-
Transmute these things into a calculus of still-born life, of a reminder of the knife’s edge we walk.
And still we grow.
Plants bursting forth, a hundred birds rising as a single mind, a single body.
The air buzzing with insects, with songs, with the thick smell of things growing and dying.
There is no freedom from the shadow of death.
Still the green things reach upwards.
No less beautiful for their dangerous struggle.
No less determined in their unfolding, in their relentless march towards life.
I have the deepest respect for the ability of northern beings to keep living in the face of the challenges of their environments.
I am a lover of persistence both in life and in writing. If you would like to read more about persistence and the overcoming of impossible odds, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.