Winter clings hard to the slopes of these mountains, locking the land in ice and snow for more than half the year. But the hardy kin such as I that make our homes here are used to the cold and often sleep the winter through. The last I saw of this world it was suffocating under the dense mounds of perfect, untouched, glistening white snow, sparkling like diamond under the harsh full moon. The entrance to my den became barred by a gate of icicles, and the kindness of the sun would not return again until the spring. I was locked in, and the cold was locked out.
Now I wake in the cheery glow of high sun, in the smells of flowers and grasses and moist earth and fresh water, the glassy bars of my prison melted and the grasses rising from the damp they left behind. Birds sing their serenades to the echoing valleys, and my ears catch the endless hops of the many thriving rabbit families in burrows all around my own.
Though countless have gone before and countless are yet to come, these new days always seem the strangest and freshest that have ever been, and I always feel as though I am the last to emerge.