Good-bye, January 2021. Welcome, February. This was one of my views in the first weeks of February 2020. Looking out the window at my early blooming cherry tree this morning, it looks like blooms are still a long way off this year. Actually, I am glad. There is something unnatural to me to have spring arrive so early. On the other hand, as in this case where two seasons came together, the promise of spring and the resurgence of new life was a message that I didn't fully appreciate last year. It would be several more weeks before the looming pandemic would come out of the shadows of far off news to become a very real threat to every aspect of our lives. These delicate blooms covered in snow were a silent message of promise, though, the promise that, even with the threat of death, beauty and life can persevere and win. Usually, I can only enjoy the beauty of this blooming tree for a week or two at best. Last year there were blooms for nearly a month, by which time many other of springs blooming harbingers had also become noticeable. Looking back I can see and appreciate the symbolism in all of this. The chill and darkness that comes with severe illness and death may walk hand in hand sometimes with the warmth and beauty of of life, but it will never overwhelm it totally. Life and beauty are stronger.