I lurch awake before sunrise and make coffee, then lean against the counter and wait for early sunlight to make its way through the south facing kitchen window. Sometimes there is sunlight these mornings, but mostly there is not. Northern days begin to stretch out languorously at the beginning of a new year, but we are into February's middling pages before change can be seen and felt in morning's touch through the windows at dawn.
There is a fine elusive old truth resting out there in the interstices between earth and sky, in the dance of light and shadow. On woodland rambles (brief this year by necessity), I trace long blue lines of shadow in the snow with my fingers and measure the difference in their inclination from day to day. The shadows whisper that springtime is on its way, but they are also saying that it will be a while until it actually shows up.
Winter skies can be breathtaking before dawn, deep blue shading gloriously to pink and gold and purple near the horizon, but the weather can be very cold here in late January and early February (-28 C.), and we have a long long way to go before the greening season puts in an appearance. Until it does turn up, I will look for dancing motes of light in the world and within myself, and I will remember that deep within their dreaming roots, all trees hold the light.