The snow moon evaporated at dawn, leaving behind the ghosts of silver shadows that hovered and drifted through the naked spires of the trees, pressing their gauzy fingers against our windows. By noon the sun had once again pushed his face through the curtain of grey and warmed the air to an untimely resemblance of spring, almost audibly laughing at a moon so inappropriately christened.
As confused by this peculiar impersonation of winter as I, the tulip trees are blooming. In great ball gowns of pink they preside over lawns and gardens all over town, joined here and there by other flowering brethren tricked into blossom by this winter that never was.
The beauty is undeniable, one can hardly look away.
Yet, beneath the candy-coloured visage of the streets I walk along lies a pulsating seed of disquiet. For here, where as a child I was bundled and swaddled against the piercing cold of February, I now dig through closets for linen. Where icicles once hung from the eaves of the house, the rose bushes threaten to bud. The change bows my head and bends my knee.
This premature spring that elbows its way through a vague semblance of winter is no less glorious that her sisters who once arrived on my doorstep in April. And yet, to deny the strangeness is impossible and, I fear, unwise.
To be nourished by the beauty while acknowledging the concern, this is the tightrope we all must walk.
For no matter what weighs us down, cannot the beauty of the natural world always lift us up,
no matter what, no matter when?
Painting above by Liz Wright