Donald P. Goodman III
O the winter! Can winter be healthy? Can winter provide what the warmer months can't? Can the death of all growing things bring further life? Can the reaper come also to plant? When the snow blankets all and the icicles fall, can a flower still blossom and bloom? Can there be love and laughter and jubilant life from the depths of the frozen cold tomb?
Over all there is snow, and the grass cannot grow, and the leaves have all wither'd away, and the snow muffles sound as it blankets the ground, and the creatures have nothing to say; what a beautiful sight, as the sun's golden light starts to sparkle and shine off the snow! But the branches so bare, weigh'd by crystalline care, bend and buckle and sway to and fro.
Hanging down from the limbs like old Damocles' sword threaten shining bright crystalline blades, spelling death down below to poor wandering souls who aren't watchful enough in the glades; for their beauty doth shine so exceedingly fine that they're objects of wonder, not fear; but their beauty can't save the crack'd skull of the knave who too carelessly thought to draw near.
And the cold is so bracing and crisp, nibbling gently on slightly expos'd nose and ear, flushing skin to a lively red color, for all those around all the more to endear. But as time flows awhile, every blushing cold smile is replac'd by a grimace of pain; for the nibbles now bite, and the cold, once a friend, won't forever wield frostbite in vain.
What say we to the cold and the freezing, when winter's fine cheerfulness turns into woe? When the ice is no longer so charming, when happiness buries itself in the snow? Can we play as of old in the skin-piercing cold, as if frozen regret never came? Can a life still have joy when the cause of our mirth and our sorrows are one and the same?
From beneath heavy snow, I say yes, it is so: there is joy in the cold of the grave; there's a joy that is high, even more than the sky, for the men who know who makes the save. For the men with the mark, it will never grow dark, for that mark shines with warmth and with light; for these men never freeze whom the mark ever frees; they are warm'd by the heat of the right.