Little things leave you feeling restless in February. You ramble through stacks of gardening catalogues, plotting another heritage rose or three, new plots of herbs and heirloom veggies. You spend hours in the kitchen summoning old Helios with cilantro, fragrant olive oils and recipes straight from Tuscany. You brew endless pots of chrysanthemum tea, sunlight dancing in every china mug.
You play with filters, apertures and shutter speeds, entranced (and occasionally very irritated) with the surprising transformations wrought by your madcap gypsy tinkerings. Camera in hand or around your neck, you haunt the woods, peering into trees and searching for a leaf somewhere, even a single bare leaf. You scan the cloudy evening skies, desperately hoping to see the moon, and you calculate the weeks remaining until the geese, the herons and the loons come home again.
It may not seem like it, but change is already on its way. The great horned owls who live on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are now building their nest in an old oak tree about a mile back in the forest and getting ready to raise another comely brood, and it makes me happy to think it is happening again.
This morning, a single delicately faded oak leaf was teased into brief flight by the north wind, and it came to rest in a bare corner of the veranda, bearing in its poignant wabi sabi simplicity an often and much needed reminder. This is the sisterhood of fur and feather, snowy earth and clouded sky, wandering eye and dancing leaf. Out of my small and frost rimed doings, a mindful life is made.