i took a walk to the harcourt nature preserve today to fight winter disconnect. it was warm out but not sunny like i’d hoped. took the snowy path and looked at the small sticks, broken branches and pine needles that lay like letters down to the preserve. walked to the bridge and stood there listening. the water was frozen over, footprints across it so it must have been pretty solid. i thought about all of the little creatures sleeping underneath, waiting for spring. i watched the littlest bird singing her heart out at the top of her lungs, three notes at a time. i watched her dancing frantically between the leafless trees and thought about how small her voice was, top of her lungs, in all that heavy quiet. then it started to sleet, but softly, like icicle kisses on my face and hands. i looked around at the trees, and stared for a long time at one to the right of the path up the bridge. it looked like m’s ‘lonely tree’ on dug road, dead, with thick, peeling layers of old bark. this one was wrapped in a tangle of long slender arms from the tree beside it, which seemed to be hugging it but in a way that the first tree could barely be seen beyond its embrace. the first tree was shaped like an enormous tuning fork, and i wondered how it could tune in anything without the filter of all of that growth clinging around it. at the top of each tower, was a circular hole through which the light from outside filtered in. if the tree were a person the holes would be in its hands, stretching up toward the sky. it stopped hailing as i looked at these. it seems to me that there is no way for this tree to channel the light appropriately unless the tree-that-is-reaching-around-it has good intentions, since it doesn’t seem like she could ever escape its embrace.