Mark Helprin, a warrior poet, writes in "The Fire We Tend Against Winter" of the threat and terrible beauty of winter. The column first appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 18, 2011, and is now available at his website. Here is a sample to whet the reader's appetite:
The world changes as snow and cold test one's fiber and ingenuity, something that brings far more satisfaction than just living easily. You become both more contemplative and more alert. The fire you make and tend against winter is one of the great things in life if only because it stands for life itself opposing the forces that someday will end it.
Of course here in Southern California we know little of that.