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Before the snow started falling early this morning, you could see the daffodils were starting to shoot up — a sign of hope if there ever was one. There are signs of hope everywhere if you look for them - in people’s parents getting vaccinated, healthcare workers getting vaccinated. Earlier this week, we hit a big milestone — in one day, 2.1 million Americans received a vaccine. Soon, so many teachers in our area will be vaccinated. Soon, the days will get longer. Soon, there won’t be piles of snow at the end of the driveways we pass on our regular walks. Soon, driveway happy hours with friends will come back around.

It’s February, and because still, even in the year that showed us how to live with uncertainty, some things happen just the way they are supposed to. The first flowers of the year, tiny hardy snowdrops, are already emerging if you know where to look for them (Winterthur, my one neighbor’s yard near their mailbox), and next it will be the daffodils and then next, time to sign up for summer camps and renew your pool membership and complete the yearbook order (whhhyyyyyy???) and order the cap and gown and figure out what’s next.

What *is* next? We were so naive in March of 2020, when schools told us they were closing for two weeks. Then, it was six. Then the rest of the year. Now it’s February and the routine we are so desperately craving is still elusive. There is no rhythm to our routine, and that may be the pre-pandemic thing I miss most of all.

So, what is next? No one knows, not really, except we all know this: winter won’t last forever. Right????

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