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On March 1st, while waiting beside our mailbox for the eight o’clock school bus to arrive, my youngest son and I noticed tiny buds on the tips of the trees that front our property. They looked like spring, these buds. These packets of green bundled into woody husks like half popped pieces of popcorn will become leaves in another couple of months, and not long after that, they will become summer. Although not as striking as the first touch of the February sun, we were happy to see these early buds. They reminded us that the year really is turning. The days really are getting longer. And winter will eventually end.

When I was a little girl, my mother would take me for walks not far from
where we lived, but as a child the walks felt far.
Mother sometimes asked me to stop. She’d say, “Now turn around and look where you are, look in every direction.” She said this was how I could
know where I am and how I could find my way back.

In this country, February is a season of clouds and light. For a couple of months it has been dark, and some of us have not seen the full, round body of the sun since November. But this winter has not been as cold as last winter. Maybe it has not been as dark either, though I am less sure of the dark. There is snow, of course. The snow is nearly constant.