The first of the four seasons generally arrives with fierce and biting force. Winter carries the dichotomy to end life and provide essential elements to sustain it. As conflicting as the characteristics used to define this time of year, the days also contrast-some with brilliant sunshine, most with darkened skies.
The grip of winter is indiscriminate. Survival through long months of shortened days and freezing temperatures test the will and determination of all living organisms. Many do not persevere. By design, winter culls the weak and the decrepit. Never during the year is the aspect of survival better on display than winter. Yet, wintertime serves as a prelude to new life. The ramifications of the season are critical to the origination of species yet to exist and the sustenance of those already here.
After many continual days of shadowy skies, blessed are we to witness the light when shined upon us through the stratus of low-hanging billowy winter clouds. And, to feel the tingling of warmth on our skin as the nearest star in our proximity slowly melts away the crystalline layers of frozen precipitation. As the torridity develops, tributaries swell with polarized molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. Some of the molecules evaporate to start the process anew. Some are absorbed into the earth. Some are consumed. Some are utilized in processes by the very beings they sustain.
Long hours of darkness and the inability to absorb the radiation of our sun affects human physical and emotional welfare. During the harsh months of winter, we long for something completely out of our control-longer, warmer, and sunnier days. This casts an unreasonable pall on the season. Through minimal effort, one should be able to arouse the auspicious feelings brought forth by the season. Winter stimulates all capable senses if given a reasonable chance. When we open our eyes and turn our view toward the cleansing white blanket covering blue-shaded mountains, true beauty becomes undeniable. Winter is both unrelenting and magnificent.