|The receding Lehigh River near sunset, with long light striking the highwater ice on low boughs.|
I saw a curled leaf plow across the gravel to be released onto the icy canal where it glided on smoothly. I saw a pairing of cardinals sweep across as well. They had no idea I had just filled my feeder.
Walking along I interrupted a group of chickadees and juncos sweeping across the ground from river to canal. Later a flight of bluebirds did the same. A grouping of Mallards nestled in one last remaining section of unfrozen water, preening themselves on a dry log.
The days have gotten shorter, temperatures colder. And yet we all know that the Earth will indeed once again abide us.
There’s an expectancy, a pregnancy about the days just before “Christmas.” It was long before Christ when man and woman first confronted their fear on these shortest days of the year, hopeful for longer days, for green to return to forest and field.
We have the gift of knowing. The first day of Winter has long been a time of the hopeful and eventual return of Spring. We know as each season passes, the number remaining to us is lessened by one.
We are always hopeful for yet one more spring.
The birds do not know the calendar. They cannot stockpile food. They have no concept of future Springs.
But even they know the days now, are getting longer.
May you be blessed by the spirit this season brings.