This is the time of hidden regeneration.
Mist hangs above the ground.
Frost forms on open fields.
The tree is still.
It stands alone and quiet.
In the darkness of the early morning, nature is asleep.
There is no movement in the air,
no hint of trembling in the branches.
The tree is silent in the darkness like a stone -
a pillar in the courtyard of an empty temple.
A distant sound breaks through the stillness.
The day's first light advances on the earth.
The shadow of the tree moves with the dawn,
but the tree is motionless.
The ground beneath the tree is frozen hard.
Above the ground, the bark is cold, the limbs are stiff.
A passer-by might wonder if the tree will live in spring.
But underneath the ground the earth is warm.
The weight of all the tree sinks to its roots.
They are indifferent to the frozen soil,
they grow toward the centre of the earth.
The tree is not afraid.
It was a seed: it knows the earth is holding it.
Within its core, a vital ring is being formed.
Around its spine, a new life is rising from the earth,
while flakes of snow are settling on the silent and unmoving tree.
–Master Lam Kam Chuen
from the way of energy