February 12: On my desk in the dark lay a pair of pearl earrings. Teardrop shaped and storm-cloud gray, they captured a bit of light from outside the window. I thought of a girl with a milk jug, a girl with a book, or even a girl in a pearl earring. Jan Vermeer had paid an unexpected call.
February 13: Today’s ice storm brought peril to steps and streets. It also brought a magical beauty to trees along the highway. With Dr. Seuss verve, the ice transformed Jack Pine needles into the spiked hair of Thing One and Thing Two. The ice amplified the rosy hue of underbrush so that they looked almost in bloom. And like rattling vertebrae, ice cubes stacked up an old-fashioned radio antenna, reminding me to sit a little bit taller as I drove.
February 14: Kevin and I went on a pleasant afternoon walk. Kevin’s Apple Watch suddenly whispered to Carol Ann’s iPhone, “Will you be my hot spot?” Carol Ann’s iPhone blushed and said yes. Happy Valentines Day!
February 15: Walking past a marsh pond, Kevin spun an hilarious story to outrageous heights. We laughed loudly — and startled a Great Blue Heron from her own slow pond walk. Just yards away from us, she launched into the air and spread her magnificent wings. Silent and awed, we watched as she soared over our heads and away.
February 16: The squirrel’s white belly — flat and wide as a bedsheet — stretched from the spindly pole to the sunflower seeds spilling out of the feeder. Like clothespins, his toes anchored the rest of his body reaching boldly toward the tray many inches away. I was reminded of the trapeze teacher I met a few weeks ago, who also crossed the air to impossible places.
February 17: I went for an early morning walk today for the first time in weeks. Too many days had simply been too cold and too dark. Besides, was there anything new on the same old path? Perhaps not, and yet I saw the pebbled creek-bed under clear shallow water, a puppy now nearly full grown, and sheets of ghost ice reflecting the rising sun.
February 18: The icy rain had finally turned to snow and a cup of tea seemed in order. Perhaps reacting to the insistent weather, the kettle sizzled and seethed and cackled like a very cranky chicken. I couldn’t help but laugh two hours later when a colleague leaned into the video meeting to share a truth “just among us chickens.” (And suddenly I wanted another cup of tea.)
Correction: Alert reader Jeremiah caught an error in my post last week, when I wrote: February 10: I watched Jeremiah whoop and holler as heroes and villains piloted starships through an anime universe. I didn’t fully understand the stakes on the TV show, despite my son’s sincere and patient teaching. But his unabashed pleasure gave me such joy. Correction: Jeremiah pointed out that they weren’t starships. They were mobile-suits!
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