Looking out at the white ground, the naked trees, the ice that covers every level and semi-level surface since the weekend's big thaw, the stillness of the garden, it is difficult to imagine that it will ever be spring again. Will the ground be free of snow and ice and offer us green again? Will plants push up from the ground and flower? Will leaves come from those tiny brown buds and grow large to cover the trees so much that I cannot see the neighbors' houses again? Will there be fruit on the serviceberry tree and pods on the bladdernut and the Kentucky coffeetree? Will those fuzzy buds on the magnolias really give way to giant waxy flowers? Will the grapevines drip with purple again? Will ferns fill the woods with waist high fronds? Will songbirds and chipmunks and insects and spiders return? Will the bird song and the buzz of cicadas and the chirp of katydids really mask the sound of the nearby tollway? Will the fragrance of molding leaves and flower nectar again fill the air outside my backdoor? That nature asks us each year to believe this in the dead of winter perhaps explains why we are so eager to believe the claims of every false product and every false religion that is presented to us.
Faith is . . . believing spring will come in February.