The little people were so excited to see this interesting occurrence... So much so that we decided to take a few cuttings and bring them in to dry. Maybe we'll make a wreath or add them to an arrangement... Even though I'm not quite certain how we'll use them in the future, Benett had his own immediate plans and decided to take one of the slender branches with him to bed. The catkins are a botanical replacement for the soft silky edge of his blankie that he strokes when attempting to drift off to sleep.
Now that the willow has opened my eyes, I'm seeing other signs of spring too... tender shoots of grass, the irises pushing up through the cold and wet ground, buds on the cherry trees and chickens contentedly scratching in the boundary of the yard looking for a patch of dry soil in which to bathe. All of these things seem so simple and glorious and helping to fade that memory of winter ever so slightly.
Despite my skepticism, it appears spring is here to stay... even so, we haven't put away our winter coats just yet... after all, I don't want to jinx anything.