The winter wood stands barren, inactive. There is no snow covering it, no splendrous cloak sparkling. There is only inert brown. I walk like a mourner.

The deepest point of the wood sits lifeless, impossibly drab. Here, oaken digits meet a leaden sky. This deepest point is not warm like the deep of calm abiding, but dry and barren. Every reason to keep walking. Or no reason at all.

Farther along, the wind. It rattles the last remnants of a green wood, ghostly leaves sapped of all color and moisture. They stand stiff, ready to be ripped away. It all stands stiff, ready to be ripped away.

But the bleak wood and its last leaves, the blasted nothingness of this place, would only fool someone who has not known a full year.

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