During a bitterly cold New Zealand winter, finding himself outside the imposing iron gates of a frozen park, Jonathon attempts to quell his growing sense of dislocation. In spite of his reluctance to accept his new life here, he is instinctively drawn to the eerie park, where he soon befriends local boy, Taylor.
On the cusp of the winter solstice, Jonathon is met in the park by an unearthly figure, a sage who is the keeper of ancient Chinese teachings known as the "Elements of Man." Bolstered by his adherence to his father's mantra of "face the unknown with courage," Jonathon embarks on a spiritual initiation, whereupon the boys are introduced to the mysteries of nature as they appear in the park.
Their quest generates more questions than answers, and as the seasons unfold, the unlikely pair teeters toward a test of their own faith and courage.