New growth has appeared in my Winter garden, yet, nothing has changed in the corner of our living room where I bring most of our courtyard's potted plants to rest during the Winter. Nor has anything changed on the deep window sill of our bedroom's east facing window where a single plant spends the Winter hours and nothing has changed on the third floor's window seat which points due north and provides a safe haven for yet another fern. Nothing, nothing, except, perhaps, the light.
I make it a point to water my plants each Friday. How nice it was last week to be surprised by fresh growth, new leaves at the base of one, a brand new shoot on another, a lively furl of green like an elaborate tip of the hat on still another. For it is yet February and cooler temperatures are bound to be in the forecast and, knowing the Ohio Valley, probably another snow storm will appear somewhere down the road to Spring, but this first sign of a shift in the light of Nature always cheers me.
David and I went to the opera last Friday night and arrived home, late, by our standards. It was nearly midnight! While David walked Cooper one last time, I looked for the full moon. The homes on Belgravia Court are very closely built and it is hard to see the moon from our bedroom windows until it is quite high in the sky. As I pulled the drapes closed, I searched the sky and the moon was not there. Instead, I walked to our granddaughter's room which sits at the back of our house, down a short hall from our room. I gazed out her window and noticed the waxy flat leaves of the old Magnolia were bathed in the softest light. I knew of no street lamp which might cast such an even glow.
Then, I climbed the steps to our third floor and there, in the back bedroom, a flood of moonlight cast a beam across my writing desk. I looked up and there was the moon, quite high in the sky above our house, full and bright against the night, framed by the skylight in the ceiling of that room. It was like being reunited with an old friend. Like a child, I waved and said, "Hello, Moon. There you are! I found you!"
Let us raise a toast to the new light of late winter, the fresh promise of new growth, the reassurance that life does indeed go forth from the stillness of winter, that rest provides the energy it takes to continue the celebration, for it will soon be a new season, another day, and we will be surrounded by the surprise of all that we have yet to see.
Home, in every language there's a word for it. It's that space where the moon shines through and illuminates the night.