joy and curiosity in a time of darkness

I've just been for a winter walk, and the trees are mostly bare. They reveal their bones, their structure, their strength. Arms raised up, in pause, mannequinned. They strike me still with their essentialism, with their unaffected beauty.

There is one tree, a short-ish, wide-ish one, in the middle of a neighbor's yard. Its architecture is gnarled, and it looks as if it has winter deep in its personality.

This tree, I was startled to see today, is budding. Buds! Everywhere! Hundreds of sturdy buds half the length of my thumb, somehow graceful in their greenish-white, are all over this unlikely tree. I spoke to that tree right out loud. It now knows that there is a person, at least one walking person, awaiting its blooms with joy and curiosity.

I am telling you this because I am hoping that you, too, are able to find a bit of joy and curiosity in the darkness of this time. I hope you, too, are finding surprising gifts each time you venture out into the air.

I love you, and you are not alone.

. . .

For the month of December, I'm doing a series of (mostly) short, (mostly) daily posts. The series is I Love You, And You Are Not Alone, and this post is part of it. New readers, you can see earlier posts on the website, and subscribe for free to get new ones in your inbox.