Last Thursday I had my gall bladder taken out. The surgery went well – it’s day surgery – in at 10, to the OR at 11, into the wheelchair and out the side door at 4. Recovery’s gone fine, too, except that on Sunday I came down with a cold, which has left me tired and achy beyond the incisions that pull when I cough or sneeze. But today I’ve felt better – done a bit of desk work (or, more accurately, counter work – since at home I work at the wide kitchen counter). Tony the Wonderdog has been so mopey while I’ve been mopey, so it was time to get outside a bit. A snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow, but today skies were blue, the sun was shining brightly and I could hear some birds singing down in the cattails by the blueberry patch. I gingerly threw the ball, Tony enthusiastically fetched. And, by the kitchen doorstep, I noticed some daffodils poking their brave heads up through the winter hardened soil. Spring is coming. Not right away, of course. This is New England. A snowstorm’s coming first – and probably more than one. But spring is coming. And I thought how good it is, at least for those us in the northern hemisphere, that Lent – this season that calls us to difficult reflection on the wintered hardened places in our lives – Lent comes in February and not in November. For in February, there is promise in the longer days, the higher sun, the bluer skies. We’re not there yet, not by a long shot. But by God’s grace, the bud will blossom.