It’s February and everything feels starved and frozen. The songbirds crowd around the bird feeders. Even the crow family comes, hesitant and wary. They lift off in a storm of black feathers at the slightest peculiarity, But they are hungry and the sunflower seed is spilled in oil-black puddles upon the ground. They hang in the branches, waiting for the stillness that signals safety.
It’s February and the hawks are lean because the mice are lean. They perch on the wires above fields and wait. The cerulean sky is clotted with slate. The river flows black against its snow-thick banks. The ground is ice.
But invisible things are happening. Sap is rising. Roots are quickening. In the forest the owls are singing their melancholy love songs. The light thickens. The Sun rises higher, stretches towards the equinox.
I have to remind myself of this because February is the cruelest month. The world feels closed to me, an empty plate, a cold bed. I must be diligent in my focus. I must remind myself that hope is rising like sap, that February is the neighbor to March, to Spring, to fickle weather and the barest glimpses of green.
I wrap myself with invisible things, like a scarf around the throat, like black silk, like crow feathers. I stand at the window in utter stillness to watch the crows finally descend to the ground. Their wary eyes do not see me. I am an invisible thing. They feast on the sunflower. I am the black seed. I am the crow. I am the frozen ground they rise from.