One morning Goldmund awoke soon after dawn and lay in bed for a while, thinking. Images from a dream still floated about him, but randomly. He had been dreaming of his mother and of Narcissus and could still distinctly see both figures. When he had shaken off those wisps of his dream he became aware of an unusual light, a strange brightness entering through the little window opening. He jumped up and ran to the window, where he saw that the sill, the stable roof, the courtyard entrance and the whole countryside beyond reflected a bluish-white shimmer: the first snow of winter had fallen. The contrast between the restlessness of his heart and silent, submissive winter world saddened him. How quietly, with what touching devotion, did field and forest, hill and moor surrender to wind, rain, drought and snow; with what beauty and patient suffering did maple and ash bear their winter burden! Couldn’t one become like them, couldn’t one learn something from them? Deep in thought he went out into the courtyard, waded through the snow, felt it with his hands, walked across to the garden and looked over the snow-topped fence at the stems of the rose-bushes weighed down by the snow.

Narcissus & Goldmund, Hermann Hesse (1957). Tran. Leila Vennewitz