Grey. Austere. Bleak. January can be all of these. It's certainly grey around here. So grey that distinguishing colour in the landscape can be difficult.
Yesterday I took a quick walk around the Bog. Robins sang in the trees; they don't mind the lack of leaves.
January forces me to look a bit harder, to notice the small things. Moss and lichen cluster on branches, a muted harmony of texture and neutral colour.
A Dark-eyed Junco perches in a tangle of twigs, cocking his head and eyeing me warily. I long to hold his soft feathered body in my hands, just for a moment.
This Bewick's Wren flitted from low branch to low branch, finally landing in a muddle of grass. How well he blends with the landscape. But, there, do you see them - green blades among the brown?
I stopped to watch the ducks, as I often do, and felt a bit like a voyeuse. It's courting season on the pond - delicate head bobbing, a bit of neck entwining, and finally mating. Not long now before ducklings!
Another pair of mallards taking a nap, heads buried deep in feathers. It doesn't look very comfortable to me, but to each her/his own.
Queen Anne's Lace, delicate and fragile, yet it stands in wind and rain, on tall graceful stalks that hold the promise of life deep beneath the earth. Elegant, austere. Beautiful.
"Wait," says January. "Life abounds beneath the surface. Have faith. Hold fast."
What is there that is beautiful in your January world?