Yesterday on my way to the post office, I experienced one of the delights of living in a small town. I had to wait at a stop sign for a little wiggly line of day care children (I counted nine), all connected together by a rope, being led across the street by their daycare leader.
January is our year’s monthcare leader. It directs the way and pulls along the rest of the months, whether they’re ready or not. They follow, bumping and stumbling, all with their own unique characteristics and quirks–hot sun, falling leaves, spring flowers.
But January leads the pack. Sometimes it rains nonstop, like today. Sometimes it’s cold and icy, like the day earlier this month when I took this photo of frost on the native rhododendron leaves.
And sometimes this month gives us fog. Several years ago I was walking beside the bay on an early January morning. Not even a wisp of wind stirred the water and it was still and gray. A heavy gray layer of fog blended into the water and for the life of me, I could not tell where the water ended and the fog began. Water and sky became one gray mass. But scattered across this mix of sky and sea were about 30 ducks, just little black blobs that looked like they could be floating either on the water or in the sky.
Then, as I watched them, I realized there was a little bit of morning light just beginning to break through the eastern sky from behind me. Eerie light had begun to streak onto the water, but it didn’t permeate the gray mass ahead of me. I felt like I had stepped forward into another world–until a car stopped up ahead of me and a couple got out to also admire and take photos.
This year I love January, its quiet time with fog and rain, and flannel sheets on the bed. The promise of a few sunny days in February is bumping up next on the rope. And it can give us its own beauty as well. Just a few days before January this year, the Potter caught this beautiful photo up on Chuckanut, near Bellingham, of some of the heavy clouds we see this month.