It’s gray and cold, my hoodie is tied tight at my chin. A tiny stream seeps from a pile of shriveled and melting black snow where a mummified squirrel is revealed, his tail a soft curve.
Last year’s fall display crunches underfoot in a seemingly barren forest. But green rises in round pools of life, topped by pink Dutchman’s Breeches hanging on a tiny green stem.
Frogs clackety clatter comes into hearing range. Red Wing Blackbirds flirt in clipped chirps, tight claws on swaying cat tails.
Bloodroot dress in their Sunday best, white and yellow, bonneted heads open-mouthed towards the sky in their tiny window of opportunity before the trees block access.
The wind tosses in those trees’ branches high overhead. Their tips hold a promise. Anxious and expectant, I marvel at their patience waiting in the wings for the cue to unfurl what’s now tightly closed.
My heart beats in time to this moment – this moment ‘before’ – when the orchestra tunes, when the lights dim, when all is quiet.
I breath it in.
I’m alive, too, and I’m ready.