Southern Exposure

Two weeks ago, the world was white. Bare branches and eaves were painted with it, and all the trees that still had leaves or needles sagged, laden with snow. In Carolina terms, this was a flood, six inches deep, that would, within a span of days, recede. And so it has.

I always find myself a little low this time of year—resisting the transition, shy of extra light, and wary of the creep of warmth. It makes me itchy. I feel unprepared, not ready for the planting and the reaping. I’m still hibernating, still living off my frozen stores.

Meanwhile, the trees have shaken off the winter and are rife with buds like painted fingernails and pale green knots of newborn leaf.

Meanwhile, the girls go bare-legged in sleeveless rompers. They let down their swinging hair. The clover has come up overnight, carpeting mud. The yard begins to smell of…

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