Winter As Crucible

Fluffy snow falls thickly in a coniferous forest.

The changes that take place in winter are a kind of alchemy, an enchantment performed by ordinary creatures to survive...Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximising scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.

from Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, pp. 13-14.