It is January again. This time last year was a quiet break after a hectic Christmas. A time to start thinking about the impending changes, the new baby we would soon get to meet. Sooner than we thought. Such different changes than those we’d envisioned.

The snowdrops are already trying to push up through the January mud. There are slim and tender-looking cut daffodils waiting in water at the corner stores. The strange bush that blooms every January at the entrance to the park and that we pass on the way to E’s daycare is blooming again. I am pregnant, getting bigger and heavier and living more and more in that secret world of growing a baby. Just like last year.

It is January again. Her time, when it shouldn’t have been her time. Everything a reminder. And I’m fighting off omens and superstitions: just because everything is the same does not have to mean everything will be the same again…does it?

I miss her. I hold him close. I can’t protect him or keep him with me. If he goes with his sister, his dark and gone sister, then that is what happens, that is his story. I wish her story were different and I wish I knew the end (or beginning) of his. Trying not to read all the natural world as a series of signs, I am starting the slow trek through this first month of the year. Happy New Year? I don’t think so.