Winter and Life

For the mood of the winter sea, read Joseph Conrad‘s description:

‘The greyness of the whole immense surface, the wind furrows upon the faces of the waves, the great masses of foam, tossed about and waving, like matted white locks, give to the sea in a gale an appearance of hoary age, lustreless, dull, without gleams, as though it had been created before light itself.’

But the symbols of hope are not lacking even in the grayness and bleakness of the winter sea.  On land we know that the apparent lifelessness of winter is an illusion.  Look closely at the bare branches of a tree, on which not the palest gleam of green can be discerned.  Yet, spaced along each branch are the leaf buds, all the spring’s magic of swelling green concealed and safely preserved under the insulating, overlapping layers. 

Pick off a piece of the rough bark of the trunk; there you will find hibernating insects.  Dig down through the snow into the earth.  There are the eggs of next summer’s grasshoppers; there are the dormant seeds from which will come the grass, the herb, the oak tree.”  (Rachel Carson, THE OXFORD BOOK OF MODERN SCIENCE WRITING, pp 136-137)

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