I lost, somewhere along the way, that ragged edge that adds such vibrancy to the color of words spilt forth like so much black and white paint— gray— on canvas. No matter how precise, the strokes remain monochrome and dull and I wonder if my soul is still intact?— hidden out amongst the wild weeds brown with winter’s death. Will I like they come once again— verdant— to life? Or will I wander always lost—no guide, no return to fervency in the way my fingers paint your mind with knowledge?
The rain never stopped.
Sometimes it was no more than a chill mist sitting on the air; other times it came down suddenly, like an angry fist, and the Coop shuddered against it. The sky stood iron above. And the weird wind was ever out of the east.
The trees lost their leaves, but there was no beauty in it this year, not any color but rot. It was as if they had simply given up to the moisture and the cold, and forgotten life. Nor was there any crackling of dry leaves, nor the sharp scent—clean and musty—of falling leaves, nor the blue bit of the year going out. Damp foliage was stripped from the trees by an everlasting rain. The naked trees shivered. That was all.
—Walter Wangerin Jr., The Book of the Dun Cow, p. 63
The raining never stopped. From horizon to horizon, the clouds were locked in place, and the earth was shut up. An east wind—an odd wind to command the weather—brought this wetness and never stopped bringing it.
But perhaps God looked down from his heaven and had pity upon the Coop, for a merciful change occurred in the rain. It became snow. And where water as rain was mere misery, the same water as snow was a soft delight: A hard freeze made the ground bony and firm; snow followed to whiten and to reveal the gentle contour of that ground; the cold air snapped life into the creatures who ventured forth to walk on it; the forest greeted them, tinkling and clinking as if its great trees had tiny voices—and more than any of that, the Coop became muffled in its warmth, because snow drifted up the outside of its walls.
—ibid., p. 70