We're having a Pacific Northwest winter here in the Northeast. Foggy, misty, and in the forties. Snow and ice is nowhere in sight. Alyssum is still blooming.
It's blooming in a protected spot; it's half dead. But it's half alive too.
A friend who sings in our local hospice choir tells of visiting a man who was skin-and-bones and just hours away from death. The choir sang, "I still have joy. I still have joy. After all the things i've been through, i still have joy." The man smiled; he obviously still had joy, even though he was what we would call half-dead.
Even half-dead things are still half-alive, and they can still bring us joy.