Already we’re halfway through February, which feels miraculous given how the month normally drags. It’s been a gray day with intermittent drizzle, but no snow. Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training, daffodil shoots are emerging in a neighbor’s garden, and the first snowdrops and crocuses of the year are already blooming from the bare ground.

This morning when I escorted Roxy to the dog-pen before her morning walk, we startled a nuthatch, downy woodpecker, and several chickadees. The neighborhood titmice and a lone Carolina wren were singing, and the scene felt like something out of Snow White, with birds fluttering and frolicking.

It almost feels like we don’t deserve the encouragement of an impending Spring given we haven’t had much of a winter. I tell myself that next year will make up for it, or next month.