For those who dread the winter months as dull, gray and dead, I offer these photos. The one on top is of snow-glazed rose hips. If I close my eyes, I can bring to mind the amazing, velvety scarlet summertime roses. In the cold and dark of now, it cheers me to know they'll be back in just a few months.
The second photo is of shamrocks curling up from beneath their snowy blanket. They caught me by surprise this morning as I was out looking for pretty winter photos, and like the rose hips, they symbolize the burgeoning life that's sleeping, waiting to burst with the spring sunshine.
I keep waking up to snow. What a difference from last January, when it seemed like spring had already come, it was so dry and warm. This is normal, this cold and grayness. It's necessary for hope.