There is something primal and mysterious about winter. It is a time for storytelling and contemplation, when the cold drives you inside and your thoughts naturally turn towards the introspective. The eerie quiet of the snow brings clarity to all sounds, while the blanket of white renders a place timeless as all signs of modern life are resolved into a pale, undulating landscape. Colours that peak through seem brighter, be it the red of a berry, the green of a bough, or the gold of weathered stone.
In these Oxford winters, I am torn between my profound dislike of the cold and a ceaseless fascination with the snow, both born of my Texas upbringing. But this tension is resolved in that exquisite activity of wandering through the pristine snow in the early morning, over meadows and down winding cobblestone streets, and at last settling by a fireside in some ancient room, to read and sip mulled wine, enraptured by the enchantment that comes of seeing a familiar place transformed.