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  • ... is this landscape, spread out in front of me like a blue robe, crowned with gold buttons, fit for a snow queen.

    And the western wind, my sweetheart, my collaborator, working so hard some nights to erase the highway, to ensure me continued solitude in my vast, snowy kingdom, providing me with perfect winter silence. He is searching for me now, I know he is, he rushed in and out of my dreams all night long, tempting me with the magnificent blues of the mountain landscape where he resides. I woke up at the crack of dawn, still sensing his cool caress against my cheek, frozen fingertips and the promise of a quiet, sunny day, followed by a clear and starry night sky and flaming green Northern lights. Just for me.

    I got up and sat by the window, looking out on rooftops and chimneys, sipping strong coffee, recalling the scent of smoke, the sound of a crackling fire, the sight of sooty fingertips. The bitter draft made me shiver and long for my faithful wood stove, its reliable generosity, its formidable heat, lazily stretching throughout my limbs, dulling my brain, making me drowsy, urging me to lay back on the couch with a book, no, with nothing but a woolen blanket, listening to the humming sound of burning logs, nothing else, nothing more, eyes wandering across the room, sight slowly fading into dusk, into sleep. But the wind, scratching at the door, and the light, the incredible evening light, drawing me back outside to climb the snowdrifts again and watch the dying sun embrace the golden row of mountain peaks while hues of blue spread like ink across endless sheets of snow... Oh, to stand there now, completely still, watching, waiting, while the western wind makes his move, attempting to seduce me again.

    I wonder whom he's whispering to now, in his low, husky voice, whose cheek his icy lips brush against, whose frozen earlobes he's nibbling at, whose hair he sniffs.

    The air is crisp today, it's snowing off and on, and I open my window to the shock of city noise. I close my eyes and wait for a signal, but the distance between us is unbridgeable; by the time his voice reaches me it has died down to a faint whisper, barely noticeable. I feel restless, misplaced. It's deep winter, and there is somewhere I ought to be, somewhere far from here, somewhere cold and quiet, a place where the light provides wondrous nuances of whites and blues, impossible to replicate. I perceive his message, handed down through layers of dream and memory: Beauty is momentary, enjoy it while you can. And I do, I allow the bitter cold to numb my sense of presence and transport me back to the landscape I love, I defy the traffic, the sirens, the horns and loud voices, and in my imagination it's just me and the wind in a vast, snowy landscape. And all of this. All of this is mine.
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