The other night, outside in the cold, looking at the red moon, spring felt a thousand years away. The stars were winter stars. No owls. A glaze of frost on every surface. But yesterday, walking up the mountain, John and I noticed how the light had changed. Not spring light, not yet. But there was a little warmth in it. And on our way down, we stopped to look at the first leaves of miners lettuce sprouting under some blackberry canes. Soon the early salads, the snippings of chives, the pizzas of dandelion greens, the buckets of forsythia blossoms brought into the house. This morning I woke from a complicated dream, not about any particular season, but I was younger, more nimble. So before the strange series of misadventures that began in late summer, 2016. Before the tests, the injections, the puzzling of specialists over screens. I’d like to think I’ve left that behind and that’s how I’m proceeding with my life but then I dream, I wake, and know where I am in the grand scheme. Or simply in the cycle of the seasons, of which winter is one.
The pillow’s low, the quilt is warm, the body smooth and peaceful,
Sun shines on the door of the room, the curtain not yet open.
Still the youthful taste of spring remains in the air,
Often it will come to you even in your sleep.
—Bai Juyi (772-846)