I stir in my chair, let my pen fall to my lap. I listen. Can it be? Yes! A hymnody of chirps enlivens the early morning stillness still trapped in February’s bite. Outside my study window a mess of sparrows and finches flit among thickets of Missouri honeysuckle brambles, their transitional home in the universe. Transfixed, I watch. Minutes pass. Joy seasons my soul like fresh herbs in a savory stew.

Again in my chair, I reflect upon the epiphany of this new sound, a harbinger of seasonal change; on its heels, pristine greening will split tight buds on trees and bushes and stir hoary grasses on lawns and fields.

Then I reflect upon the tight places in my spirit, still congealed within winter’s dark, inert forms to which I’d grown accustomed. A sapling begins to emerge that mandates tending. It wasn’t there before the birds’ song.

I offer thanks …