Living is a struggle because of the cold. As each year passes, I find myself getting colder more often. I am not fond of the oppressive heat we have here in the South ( particularly living as we do without air conditioning), but I believe the cold is worse. There are nights I have slept fully clothed, even under a pile of throws and blankets, because it was one more layer of warmth against the piercing cold...and this is coming from someone who has cracked a window to let in the crisp air in January when I lived up North. It's a different kind of cold because of the humidity here.
This makes me appreciate the anticipation and excitement of those who have gone before as they awaited the long, long night. It would be the last of the nights that seemed endless. The following days would ever so imperceptibly gain light-and warmth. The light would gain and the earth would begin to send up life through the cold ground. It would call them forth from the dark like a siren's song. They would be just as unable to resist, until finally-finally-there would be something bright green and juicy to absorb the sun's rays.
But now, for a few days, there is the cold and the dark, where the warmth is in-dwelling. The furnace of life resides inside and burns steadily.