It’s barely 8 am, and already I’ve taken an icicle image that beats all of yesterday’s. Something about the glint of morning light on ice is undeniably lovely (and check out that shadow!) I’d tell you that I took this photo in puppy pajamas and slippers while the dog took his usual morning pee, but that would be revealing too much, I’m sure. I’ll keep the rest to myself.

This morning I learned from Leslee that January 24th was the most depressing day of the year, so maybe that explains yesterday’s late-day fatigue. Late January is when the deep freeze really kicks in here in New Hampshire. Although until recently this year has been relatively snow-free, I’ve been feeling the weight of winter in my bones. These past few weeks I’ve been inordinately sleepy, and my sinuses and skin are screaming from the cold, dry air. This weekend, I bought a humidifier to sooth my sinuses, and last night I slathered myself with lotion to salve my skin. On sunny days like today, I feel myself turning toward the light like a flower: the effect of sunlight on mood is not mere theory to those of us who live in Nature’s nether regions. Sunlight makes everything shine, and gray days make me want to crawl under a rock.

Why should it surprise me that Nature’s effect on my body would be so obvious and apparent: why should it surprise me that I can feel winter in my sluggish blood? Have I so deeply internalized Emerson’s dead-wrong pronouncement that Nature is the Not-Me? No, no Waldo: you had it all wrong. If Nature’s not me, than who is She: if I am not Nature, who am I?

    A warm New Hampshire welcome to Ivy, who’s safely arrived at the MacDowell Colony for her month-long writer’s residency. Keep warm, Ivy: enjoy the snow, and write, write, write!