Where I live, we are deep into winter. The cold, the snow, the inversion make it more challenging to step comfortably into the season. Even the sunniest day can feel frigid, making it easy to stay inside and hibernate the day away. But daily walks are my lifeline. They are my meditation practice, my spiritual fuel. So, when the sun broke through the layered sky, I took advantage of the light, bundled up and stepped into the chill. Although the ground was frozen and most of the vegetation still barren and brittle, I noticed small buds forming on the ends of some trees and shrubs. Tiny hints that spring isn't too far off.

I needed that reminder, that promise of returning warmth. I needed the walk to clear the fuzziness that comes with too much time inside. I needed to touch these signs of spring and ground myself with nature.

Whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow today, I am comforted by these tender buds. After a month of hibernation, of storing up and slowing down, they are my invitation to slowly return to the routines that restore and vitalize. They are signs that it's time to re-emerge.