Do you hear it?
There is a sharp wind singing through the air. It tells of cold months only just begun. It warns to be ready with chopped firewood and stored food.
This place was made to endure, but that does not mean it is not filled with pain. Today the morning frost lingers, the ground has become chilled to its bones. We gather closely around our hearths, whispering of the summer past, thinking on the cold months now upon us.
The birds have fallen silent, most of them fleeing to a softer place than this. The ones that remain sit on barren branches, watching. They do not turn their eyes from what is to come.
The howling of wolves rise at night, a chorus of gathering hunger. Together, they are savage. Together, they are protected. Together, they await the coming cold with barred teeth. They do not love the winter, but they do not fear it either.
I was made to endure, but that does not mean I am not full of pain. My footsteps have grown to be firm, my skin has grown to be tough, and my heart has grown to be strong. The ice that falls here does not pierce me like it used to, but I do not turn away from feeling it.
There is a softness that I have grown inside me. I guard it closely, with the ferociousness of a mother bear. I do not wish to become the relentless cold, nor do I wish to be frozen by it.
It is not such a terrible thing, to be made to endure. I only wish to use it to protect that which was born under the summer sun.
I was raised in the midst of a thousand hopeful dreams. I have seen the forces that would destroy them as swift as the autumn frost.
If they are to stand a chance, I must keep my senses on guard and my weapons at the ready. It is not an easy state to be in; to be hardened enough to keep cold dark fingers from reaching inside, but soft enough to encourage things to grow.
Then again, I was not made for easy.
The sharp wind is warning us to prepare. The birds that remain are watching. The wolves of the night are crying out in hunger. There is pain ahead of us all. This place is bowed under the weight of knowing such things, but it has not broken.
It has built me to endure.