Then a few mornings later, the first thing I saw as my eyes opened was a streaking plume of light in the dawn sky.
Of course it was the contrail of an airplane, and I knew it, but I awoke with a shock, a little panicked after seeing those news videos of the meteor blazing across the early morning Russian sky.
On winter mornings I lie in bed watching vapor trails meet the morning sun.
There is quite a view of the sky from our large bedroom windows, and early morning is a very busy time for air traffic here.
I live exactly halfway between Boston and New York, right below one of the busiest air corridors in America. Flights are headed to both those cities, and flights are coming from Europe, headed west into the interior cities and beyond. Flights going east on their way to Europe cross over my house, and then local air traffic lumbers by, smaller aircraft going past the window with the backlit plumy vapor trails of transatlantic planes behind them.
If the sun is just rising and it is a clear day, there are six or seven pink tinted plumes crossing each other all over the sky, headed every which way. What a way to greet the day.
Finally, I get up, open the bedroom door to the living room and see the burst of yellow light from the still blooming forsythia branches that I brought in to force back on January 31.
It's been 23 days now, and all the other branches that I cut and brought into the house have opened, bloomed, entertained me for a while and are now gone.
But the forsythia blooms on. Not a single little blossom has shriveled, no yellow petal has been lost. It goes on and on, a burst of never ending sunshine. It may still be abloom at Easter, maybe even Memorial Day.
You know, it's pretty exciting around here at dawn on a winter morning.