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The Thaw

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As forecast and felt in the previous week, we have our first official thaw of the season. The air is thick with fog, water vapor rolls off the snow banks, and the tree limbs of the cherry dangle water droplets like Christmas lights – each orb taking in the muted light and dispersing it in more focused brightness. I don’t dare step into it, for fear of taking in a breath of Spring that is far too far away. Sometimes it’s best not to taste it, so unbearable would the return to our regular winter weather be.

Yesterday the birds were taking turns at the bird bath. A cardinal splashed around in it first, chased away by a pair of bullying bluejays. A woodpecker swayed on the tallest stalks of the sturdy fountain grass, and a squirrel slinked along the backyard fence. Even though it’s winter, the world is still alive, the pulse still beats beneath the melting snow.

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