Wisp of Woodsmoke


Like tiny animals awaking from hibernation, all fluffy and sleepy, the children emerged from their snowy burrows, their cottages in the hills, their humble little homes, and began to make their way with us into the valley. Footsteps in the freshly fallen snow became trails and then wider paths as the little ones converged on the village. Hooded, mittened, scarved and booted in red and blue and green, with tassels and bobbles, buttons and laces, we formed meandering tributaries down the lumpy hillsides that led to the confluence in the market square.

And there, under a sky like deepest velvet spangled with a billion stars, they hoisted their paper lanterns and flickery yellow candles high to shine on their rosy faces and on the multitude that had lined the twisting lanes between the snow-decked roofs of the Alpine lodges and the brightly decorated windows of the little shops.


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