His unfailing support and affection, even when I’m felled by the winter blues. Snowfall on a Saturday. The cat curled by the radiator. Mama on the telephone. Iced water. Fruit tea. Libraries. That walk through the mud. Anna Jones recipes. Mapping our trip around South-East Asia (!!!). News of an old friend’s baby, born in the middle of a German winter, in the black of night. Contented conversation with unfailingly lovely Johanna. The camellia buds balled into tight clenched fists as February breathes her deep inhale before spring. I chase the daylight, tailoring my walking route to the path of sun across sky, each footstep a balm for my winter-weary soul. It’s 4 and still light. 4.30 still light; every speckle, every splotch of sunlight pure joy. The scent of Monmouth coffee clouding our desks. A slice of apple streusel from my doe-eyed Valentine. The kind of novel (Americanah, still) that makes even stilted tube rides sail by. Double-dating with old (and new) friends. Yoga on a Friday.