December 2017. Notes: The last few days have been quintessential New England winter. The sun is gone long before dinnertime. The cold is stunning. There is no pretending, no wearing flip-flops or shorts all winter long. Our bitter winter days are unequivocal.

There are some whose bodies can muster a brief moment of denial, who can leap into the frigid Boston Harbor on New Year’s Day. I am not one of those people. My whole body, right down to my arctic feet, is unceasingly tuned in to the fact of winter.

And yet, there is a kind of defiance. Yes, the color spectrum of my forest has been narrowed to brown and evergreen. Yes, I can’t see any streaks of sunlight out my window some mornings, or make out the definition of clouds; the sky is just one long parchment paper sheet. Accepting this means accepting that the color and the light have to come from somewhere else, for the moment.

And then winter becomes a search, a question. Where will I find the color this winter? Where the light? This one goes out to everyone who finds themselves asking similar questions anew, accepting the cold all the way down to the bone, but seeking nonetheless.