I moved to Philadelphia from Tucson, Arizona. When people ask me why I did that, I can only say that love is a very powerful thing. After sixteen years in the desert, winter here was a big adjustment. Part of my survival strategy is to get out for a morning walk, regardless of the weather. Just like the mailman, I’m out there almost every day in the rain, sleet, snow, or sun. My usual route takes me through the Fairmount and Brewerytown neighborhoods, and into Lemon Hill park. As the snow of that first Philly winter melted away, I started noticing these little plastic flowers on the ground. Eventually, I started picking them up and sticking them in my pocket. To my sun-deprived brain, they were an unmistakable sign that even in the lingering cold and darkness of February, Spring had to be right around the corner. I’m sharing a few favorites from my collection as a reminder to always keep an eye out for the subtle messengers of hope.