Surprised On A Winter Morning

Waning moon, oak tree.

When I went to the door to let the dogs out early this morning, I was amazed at how warm the air felt. I hadn’t looked at the thermometer yet. Though I had on just a light long-sleeved top and jeans, I decided I’d join the dogs in the back yard.

It was the first morning in the past I-can’t-tell-you-how-long that the air felt benevolent. I strolled on the path through the back yard, looking  at the waning moon through the tendrils of oak branches against an emerging blue sky. Gosh, it was beautiful — all of those intertwining bare branches framing the moon. Winter can be beautiful in stark, surprising ways. Also, my fingers did not freeze handling the smart-phone to make the photo.

I don’t mind the cold, mostly. Most of us are fortunate enough to have good clothes. We know how to dress. We don’t stop going outside. But suddenly a morning like today comes along and we realize how much we’ve been hunching our shoulders to the cold lately.

The dogs were eager to go inside. They know what comes next — the sound of kibble falling into a bowl — and, oh, they are ready.

Once inside, I checked the thermometer to see how warm it had been outside. Thirteen degrees. I was going to guess 26.

Winter. It’s all relative.