As the weather warms, as the animals begin to wake up and the people begin to go out jogging, their neon pink and green shirts clashing with the brown landscape, my little girl is dazzled in wonder at so many things.

Daily, we look out the living room window at the turkeys, and she points and bounces; “tukee!!” she says. We go for afternoon walks, and she stomps through puddles of melted snow. She hears the crow’s caw-caw and she searches the sky for the “buh.” And there are exciting sidewalk meetings with “uffs” (dogs). She’s loving the attention of neighborhood children. The other day Ramona gleefully chased a seven-year-old girl with beautiful red hair up and down the sidewalk, through the apartment breezeways, both of them giggling with the fun and the warmth.

To discover the waking world for the first time, to find that each thing has a name, is beautiful. And what a precious gift for me to be able to see Ramona’s joy as the bleak, frozen earth transforms into a growing, dynamic playground.

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