January begins the year dark and damp in our neck of the woods. The lights of Christmas come down, the decorations get put away, and I breathe a sigh of relief that we made it through another holiday season. January is a time of resting, catching our breath, and dreaming of the year to come.
This year has been unusually mild, though, and it seems that spring is just around the corner.
Violets are appearing out back, underneath the clematis bush that is sprouting out already. I find myself at once cheered by the hope of spring and brighter days, and yet also resisting the change. Is winter really almost over? I was just getting used to it. The earth just keeps spinning, moving faster and faster in its orbit. At least, that's how it seems to me. Maybe I'm just getting old.
A few weeks ago we had a warm day for January, and took a drive up along the Skagit. In many years the bald eagles come down in the winter months to feast on the salmon that are spawning in local waterways, and to get a break from icier climes up north. This year the migration peaked in December, but we still were able to see a few eagles during the day, and the kids learned about the connection between eagles and salmon.
Just as important, we were able to get some fresh air and have a break from the confines of the house. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to revitalize the mind.