Winter will not end

Winter will not end this year. Spring will not come.

Water will not run down the creeks, under the snow, then gorging up through the crust and ice, taking them down with it, down to the lake, where the ice is heading out while the water is surging up, meeting the warming sky.

Green is also gone.

The robins will not return, will not arrive in large straggly flocks, searching out dull brown fields, will not scratch and peck and hop across barely warm clods of sodden dirt, will not coax the earthworm or beetle upward toward a sky that is light strewn with the long angles of spring sun.

The path up to the place under the hemlocks on the south side of the headlands, the place where the mosses first appear after the snow melt — thick, green, springy mats, covering the decayed stumps and ancient tree ripened ground, and husky old boulders all along and including the path itself — that moss path will not be walked.

Spring will not come.  Winter will remain, forever, gray, slush boned.

The chickadees will not change their tune, the owls will not haunt the early morning air, the loons will stay away.  There will be no peepers.

This is no lie.

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