Twilight is falling noticeably later these days. At 6 p.m. the sky is still luminous, tinted lavender and, in the west, shades of coral, pastels pale as eggshells. The path up the hill is clean and shoveled, bordered by melting mounds of snow. Overhead the birds are bolder as they dive into the winter-wild shrubs to take shelter. The air is still and soft and at the top of the hill, spring awaits in a forsythia bush thick with buds barely contained by their outer leaves, the life force pushing against the cold, the snow, the approaching darkness.