Assume Wind But Hope Cardinal

What if tea was made for me? What if bread? What if soup? What if that one action was everything? Because it is. At least, I think it would be.

The rhododendron bush shivers. I assume wind but hope cardinal. In the joy of my winter, it is both. The first cardinal this year shows itself to me and in this way I am restored. Relieved? Reborn.

No sunlight manages to break through the stone ceiling. Yet today, birds crowd the feeders: nuthatch, titmouse, chickadee, and a red bellied woodpecker. The dog has taken to whining anytime a squirrel disrupts the bird stations. I don't blame her but she does call attention to my own irritation with fattened thieves. A sharp rap on the window is effective for a moment only.

These days meander with a bite. My bones are consumed by a hostile glacier of ache that creeps ahead without consent. Another sweatshirt, more blankets and second pair of socks. A hot shower. More tea. In bed I trace the white stitching of palm-sized flowers floating on a navy sea. I came upon love like shell awash at low tide, a surprise existing with or without me. The shell exists for every one and in my exploring hands, for a tiny moment, it also exists for me. But do not search for it. Do not walk the beach looking for the prize conch because a found treasure after expectation is another thing entirely.

At 4 a.m., a full and glaring moon urges the wakefulness I am accustom to in this kind of season. Lately I use this time to pour over cookbooks in the hopes of reconnecting with something I lost a while back. A way of giving. Green tea. Hot soup. A slow dance in the kitchen.

How far away I can fly in the dark.