Winter is a time of quiet regeneration. The New Year marks the passage from the riotous abundance of the holidays to the calm renewal of energy that leads us to Spring. In the spirit of the season, the Winter 2014 issue of South Writ Large explores the themes of destruction and reconstruction. Our contributors write about the transformation of discarded objects into works of art; the wreckage of buildings, families, and relationships; the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation, and, on the lighter side, the re-imagining of a classic Southern dish, gumbo. Lastly, we take a moment to remember a global hero who dedicated his life to rebuilding a nation destroyed by systematic injustice, Nelson Mandela.