A spring is a sudden release of stored energy. It's the combined power saved from a thousand tiny efforts. In winter you coil up within yourself; muscles wound tightly, saving heat. You shiver in anticipation, waiting for the spring.
In the creek, the water flows frothy with frogspawn. Mr Duck loudly and tunelessly serenades Mrs Duck, who hides her head under her wing in embarrassment. Harsh black Ravens, highly private in treetops, coo quietly to each other in the voices they only use once a year. The Moorhen family wearing matching purple vests and long orange boots delightedly collect slimy weeds to build their nest, while Mr and Mrs White-faced Egret look down their long noses and ask whether the frogs are organic. Baby bunnies, prey of cold or poison, lie still in the grass. Magpies rule the world. There are other birds, but they're not doing anything interesting.
Antarctica doesn't have a spring. It doesn't have an autumn. It doesn't save your energy. It doesn't save your life. It just takes away everything you have. The only real difference between summer and winter is that in the summer you're not dead yet. It is a land of black and white and heartbreaking, soulcrushing blues.
I hope this project has a springtime.
Friends and companions get you gone,
'Tis my desire to be alone;
Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I
Do domineer in privacy.
No Gem, no treasure like to this,
'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss.
All my joys to this are folly,
Naught so sweet as melancholy.
'Tis my sole plague to be alone,
I am a beast, a monster grown,
I will no light nor company,
I find it now my misery.
The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone,
Fear, discontent, and sorrows come.
All my griefs to this are jolly,
Naught so fierce as melancholy.
- From Robert Burton's The anatomy of melancholy, published 1624 or thereabouts.
I can imagine what Scott felt, and hopefully what the player will feel, at the midpoint of their journey. "There is no hope. I can only fail, and it will be no one's fault but mine. I have let down everyone who depended on me. I may as well quit now. But I have to keep going because I have a duty to see this to the end."
And as they become small hardened seeds of themselves, stripped of all personality except a desire for food and warmth, they become part of the thing they are fighting - the blank, unrelenting, unthinking force - and learn through crystallised minds that the real enemies were themselves.
These handsome blueprints have been sent off for the manufacture of characters. Soon: models!