An unexpected lift on a rainy morning (January 5 newsletter)

A wren is sitting just outside the window. She’s out in the wet, on a day not cold enough for snow. And she’s sitting so close to the clapboards, we can see her feathers puffed out to keep warm.

She has a brown back and a golden belly, white streaks over brown eyes, a long beak and a creamy throat. Maybe she’s trying to keep dry. She’s sitting on a bare branch, making quiet comments as the rain picks up.

Old friends tell me she’s a lady wren because of the way she’s singing, humming. The males sing all year round, they say, with a rapid three-note call I remember from warmer mornings, jiminy jiminy jiminy jiminy

I can’t remember ever seeing a wren so close. We’re dripping too, coming from a morning walk in the woods, and it was beautiful, hoar frost filaments on the path and a skim of ice over moss on the glacial rocks.

It’s a quiet week. It would be anyway after the holidays — the year hasn’t begun to pick up speed yet — and this year it’s still quieter. Maybe it’s time for a cup of coffee and one of the muffins we’ve made from squash from the farm share.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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