The Dead of Winter

The sun. And what had been an immense, dimensionless gun-barrel of heat earlier that autumn day was now a tamed power casting a layer of brass over the plains of the Atlantic. The flickering light came ceaselessly across the sea, mile upon mile of it, gained the rocks and skerries of the coast, slipped up and across the raised beaches, powered its way up the final hundred and fifty feet of the cliff where the grass and dwarf birches lay beaten down against the surface of the earth and then sank itself into the hillsides of heathers and peat-moss which stretched in terraces and gentle slopes backwards into the blue sky over the island. A faint breeze carried the smell of bog-myrtle and heather and sea-life. All along the coast of the great bare headland the same thing was happening so that the whole mass of land which stood, with its flattened, rounded end, out into the ocean was trembling with warmth and life, calmed by the final weeks of a long summer before the winter, inevitable, arrived with its winds and rains.

Dominic Cooper, The Dead of Winter

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