This morning I peered out the window past Christopher, red-faced and jolly, playing in the snow to our peach tree, just beyond our back-fence line. I thought about how we’ve seen it through all four seasons now: green branches, heavy with fruit; colorful leaves falling until there is no indication that it is a peach tree at all. I didn’t grow up with seasons and I’m still resisting conversion to my northeastern husband’s unabashed love of winter, but my love for our own first little place with our cheerful little children may push me over the edge.
Last winter, Therese had just been born and we foolishly decided to make the weekend of the first heavy snowfall our first trip to Mass as a family of four. There were tears, skidding tires, and finally a slow ride home that ended with me flopping back on the couch and continuing postpartum hibernation. Today, that baby wore a snowsuit and after immediately faceplanting in the snow and being righted by a hovering mommy, lifted up her face to the falling flakes in confusion while her big brother, an expert already at three, shoveled paths and scooted around with his trucks until finding respite inside from the cold with some hot cocoa.
The too-small snowsuit, the perplexed baby, the bare peach tree, the flickering purple candle; all familiar, but new each time. The snowsuit will be replaced, the baby grows up, the snow will melt, and Christmas will come, but the seasons bring us both forward and back with glimpses of winters past in the fresh snow.