It happens subtly and then you notice. It is light now when I wake at seven. When I left my office the other day after five, the sun was lingering on the horizon. And midday, the light has shifted…more properly the earth has shifted on its inexorable way to the spring equinox, and unaccountably, I feel lighter. Despite the sub-freezing temps, the snow piled so high I can see out my front door to check on the weather; despite the single trail in the snow in my back yard that my dog has made so that she can poop in private behind the shed, and despite the icy slick surfaces that make it impossible for us to walk, and toxic salt crystals sprinkled everywhere, that insert themselves between her toes and sting like the dickens, in spite of all this, I know spring is coming. And with it light and warmth and soft breezes, green and growth.
I have been trying to imagine what it must have been like for primitive people to weather these kinds of winters and worse, burrowed into their shelters, huddling together for warmth, praying for their food stores to last, making the best of the few hours of light to hunt and gather, and waiting. Waiting for the return of the light. And I imagine that their sense of hope and optimism and lightness also began to soar at this time, with the knowledge that this dark and cold place will soon be a distant memory, just like mine.