From this bank at this spot in summer I can always see tadpoles, fat-bodied, scraping brown algae from a sort of shallow underwater ledge. Now I couldn’t see the ledge under the ice. Most of the tadpoles were frogs, and the frogs were buried alive in the mud at the bottom of the creek. They went to all that trouble to get out of the water and breathe air, only to hop back in before the first killing frost. The frogs of Tinker Creek are slathered in mud, mud at their eyes and mud at their nostrils; their damp skins absorb a muddy oxygen, and so they pass the dreaming winter.
~ Footfalls in a Blue Ridge Winter, Sports Illustrated, February 4, 1974
Whenever I falter, when I find myself losing hope in the world, I read Annie Dillard, for surely there exists something bigger and greater than humanity to have created such a voice.