In a way, the image of naked black lace trees against the gray sky is beautiful in its starkness. There's a bone-bare essence to the scene that means business. The frippery of Christmas has been stripped away (except for my porch lights, of course) and the business of moving forward has begun. While the weather turns colder, the days are also getting longer and I know what comes next. We are inching towards the spring, towards kinder days and softer colors, towards yellow and purple crocuses and an invitation to remain outdoors, feel the breeze and breathe the air.
Meanwhile I wonder why birds don't freeze solid, and how they manage to clutch telephone wires with their tiny feet as they face that unsympathetic wind. I worry about the homeless, who, with their refusal to accept help, either because of an ill-advised issue of dignity, or an unwillingness to part with the weapons which make them feel safe, are no better off than the birds.
I have no right to complain as I sit in my sheltered house, with a scarf around my neck and a thick hooded sweater to take off the chill, still it's hard to be optimistic on a day as mean as this one. But as I said, I know what comes next.