The weekend brought long-awaited sunshine and trickles of water along the roadside. Bikes were released from their spot in the drive shed and puddles were tested for depth. We headed out for a long walk. The ponies watched our departure with longing; alas, the gate that would release them is locked shut with ice.
The remains of garland, perhaps blown from a spent Christmas tree on its way to the dump, became a fairy's wreath, while sparkling shards of granite on a leaf became gems wrapped in emerald velvet.
A wooden club for the cave boy, a brush of red pine needles as a broom, pine cone projectiles and a fallen tree to explore. Dwindling snow banks and the detritus they leave behind, the scent of earth and fresh air, and new freckles sprouting like wildflowers on our children's faces.
After the longest winter in our memory, we have been released.