The sound of birds and a glimpse of cornflower sky in my window pulled me out of the house this February morning, dog on the leash, limping on a broken ankle. I envisioned a brief hobble, the dog obedient on her mission, deep breaths of clear air, a few rays of light settling on my face.
A cutting wind greeted us with an unwelcome hug as I labored down the steps. The dog tugged on her leash repeatedly, almost pulling me over, then decided to pass the time eating twigs, ignoring the purpose of the trip. The landscape looked pretty desolate in spite of the pale yellow wash of light that lay over it. Dry broken twigs were scattered everywhere, snow lay in dirty patches amidst the brown grass, mud and dead leaves. What a weary scene! Winter was still a lion roaring into March.
A few days earlier life had worn a different hue. I was buoyantly convinced that Spring, just this once, was coming early. I felt lighter and stronger than I had in a long time as I strolled to lunch with my handsome teenage son. We were having so much fun.
Alas I was stepping a little too lightly and quickly for early February. My boots were too new. I fell on an icy patch of mud.
Now, three days later, I was dragging my leg, wearing high water sweatpants and a big orthopedic shoe, as the dog and I headed home through the pummeling weather.
Rounding the corner, I was doused suddenly with a wave of morning light. It flooded my face and lingered there until I felt much warmer. Sweet hope rose in my heart.