Winter is … going away, whatever Ned Stark has to say about that.

I’m cycling my way to work and back again, which takes up at least 90 minutes a day, but it’s worth it. It’s not just the exercise, it’s feeling the open landscape around me. I love that strange, wintry beauty of fields and meadows covered in hoar frost. Throw in some fog and it manages to be both magical and mundane. I love the strange effect of having frost on my coat and even gloves, courtesy of fog combined with windchill.

The strange thing: I swear I can feel the first hint of spring beneath it, like the fresh, new skin of a snake about to shed her current coat of scales. It’s like the shrubs and trees are already in grid position, waiting just for a few mild, sunny days to push out the first hint of green and get a head start in that slow, silent race for sunlight. In a few weeks, most shrubs and trees will have that first haze of spring green around them. Another month or two, and they’ll explode in leaves and blossoms.

Living in a small city, I know that anyway; probably a long-term effect of having grown up with gardens and plants. But one hour of cycling through open landscape and I can feel it all around me, under that thin, frost-dusted surface.

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