Another day of bright sun and cold temperatures, only now, after a few days, it really doesn’t seem so cold. The sun is warm, the birds are singing. If I close my eyes it could almost be spring – but that is how a northern winter can break your heart.

After a few bright days in January you can convince yourself you’ve almost made it – made it past the worst, at least, but then two weeks of cold, sunless gray will hit, followed by thick, dirty snow for weeks that drag into months. And then mud and muck stick to everything until one day in April, gray and listless, you realize spring has already come.

It’s better, now, to dive deep into the woolens of the evergreens, to smile at the sun, yes, but keep close to your heart, keep warm.