The winter takes its toll. It doesn't matter who you are or what you are, it will exact payment, someway somehow. The trees give up their leaves, the roads lose their smooth facade, every last molecule of water is stolen from the air. You may burrow into your cave and hope to hide, but winter will find you and demand tribute. You may fool yourself by pretending it is just a concurrence of astronomy and geology, but it will stand outside your door, waiting. Go ahead and claim all manner of agnosticism you want, it will beat away at your defenses until you are forced to give it what it seeks. You may doubt and deny its power, but in the cold light of day when all shadows are flattened and rendered brittle and all color has been frozen out of your world, you will give up, you will give in, and you will believe. It will strip you bare and leave you gasping for breath and hoping that everything it took from you, everything you lost, can be found again in the thaw of spring.


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