Today is a day of sharp contrasts--of light and dark, warmth and cold, of stillness and wind. The sense of change in the air has made the dog nervous and he licks his lips as the wind howls through the trees. I brace myself in case of tree and limb fall—the wind carries with it the possibility for destruction at the same time I nudge the thermostat up a degree and curl my toes beneath me. The puddles ripple in the wind and I know that, come night, they will turn to ice. I dread the coming cold and the already cold. The cold that penetrates through to the bones and the night that seems to come earlier and earlier each day. Yet, the sun broke through the clouds and I remember last year and the year before—all years in which I began to believe that I would never be warm again. Years in which the dying grasses and fallen leaves seem to possess an unrepentant barrenness. New life seems impossibly far off and the storm perches like the silhouetted cormorant above the water. The contrast of life and death is suddenly all too real. Winter has come.