After the solstice, I shouldn't be surprised at winter. Not this year, surely, when the first cold came early and stayed longer than it has in past seasons of winter withheld. Yet I was surprised. Maybe I always am, being fond of my habits and having gotten used to whatever climate was there before. Maybe more than other years the cold penetrated, sunk in more deeply, more enthusiastically. That's possible.
And I was surprised again, in the presence of today's mild, thin sun: having acknowledged winter's grip, I am not easy with its loosening. I walk along, still expecting ice more than its melting and catch calm glimpses and reflections through soft ice. I see the season shining up through water and ice, a history of fallen leaves and tomorrow's promise.
Always the surprise. It has caused me to notice, to pay attention, through the cold and the warm. I am grateful.