Hellebores, a pastel by Stephanie Thomas BerryFebruary was gentle, and I am grateful for that. Often the second month feels like an impossible stretch. The swell of light in the evenings is not enough to dissuade a rising angst, and the cold bears down upon the mountains with a relentless wind.

But not this February, which was so warm even the daffodils bloomed, far too early. This is the second February for my hellebores, which I planted later in the season two years ago, and they are well established and adorned with more blossoms than I put in my pastel. Their old leaves from last summer lay spent upon the ground, still green but dying back, now that new growth is emerging.

On the morning that I sketched them the air was golden and wet with luscious dew. I laid on the ground so that I could get a good peak at their nodding flowers. It felt so good to be amongst flowers!

Now March has arrived and brought back the cold, and perhaps worse, the wind. I realize how the wind is as formidable as the rain, really, and I’m hold up inside, hungry for warm evenings in the garden or the forest, the dappled green of the oaks and birches, flowers singing at my feet.

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