They walked on in silence. They were together - and that was enough to make everything round about seem beautiful. And it was spring.
Still without saying anything, they came to a stop. Two fat bullfinches were sitting on the branch of a fir tree. Their red breasts seemed like flowers that had suddenly blossomed on enchanted snow. The silence was very strange.
This silence contained the memory of last year's leaves and rains, of abandoned nests, of childhood, of the joyless labour of ants, of the treachery of foxes and kites, of the war of all against all, of good and evil born together in one heart and dying with this heart, of storms and thunderbolts that had set young hares and huge tree-trunks trembling. It was the past that slept under the snow, beneath this cool half-light - the joy of lovers' meetings, the hesitant chatter of April birds, people's first meetings with neighbours who had seemed strange at first and then become part of their lives.
Everyone was asleep - the strong and the weak, the brave and the timid, the happy and unhappy. This was a last parting, in an empty and abandoned house, with the dead who had now left it for ever.
Somehow you could sense spring more vividly in this cool forest than on the sunlit plain. And there was a deeper sadness in this silence than in the silence of autumn. In it you could hear both a lament for the dead and a furious joy of life itself.
[Life and Fate, Grossman, V.]