The endless month we call January is actually ending. Amazingly, it went by a lot quicker than I am used to. I am not sure why, but the feel of an oppressive eternity seems to have been absent this year.
Perhaps it is due to the presence of the snow, turning our surroundings brighter and lighter. Perhaps it was the lack off fog and rain or the fact that the sunshine hours even outnumbered November. In any case, today is the last day of January.
Even though we are still standing in midwinter, there is a slight, but palpable change in the air.
It is clearly moving higher up in the sky. I can not adequately explain in words what this means. Or how important it is. We have by now gained about 90 minutes more light since the winter solstice and the quality of the daylight has been visibly altered. The sunshine is more platinum than golden and the sunsets occur later and last longer.
It is the first significant sign foretelling that although spring is nowhere in sight, winter has reached - and passed - its peak.