The shadows come early here, and they stay late. Even in the warmest breezes of midsummer, there is a slight sour tang to the air that speaks of coolness. A warning: this will not last. So you hold each day as it comes, like a petal that you know will lose it's color and wilt in your hands. But you cannot help it, and you cannot leave. For the brilliant blue sky and the jagged edges of the peaks are as much a part of you as an arm or a foot. When you close your eyes, they make up the landscape of your mind. The hawk soaring--a tiny speck on the currents of the wind. And far down the valley, the river tumbles over rocks, sending up an echo of greeting.
Winter is coming on fast now, the snow creeping steadily closer on it's descent down the slopes. The brilliant blue of the glacier ice on the peaks is disappearing under fresh, white snow, and there is--more often--the crack of an avalanche on some unseen face. The animals grow shaggy under their winter coats, eating voraciously. But still, the sun is warm. You can sit on a rock outcropping, with a roll of hard bread and some cheese, and feel the warmth on your face--turning your cheeks pink. In those moments, you don't feel so alone. Even though the thoughts of the crowds far below, or even the small village on the opposite hillside, fills you with trepidation. It isn't always easy, when the winter comes, to be so alone. Alone in a hut, warm and secure, that hunkers against a hillside. No way to get out, once the snows begin. With all the wood stacked on the side of the house to get through the winter, and the cows nestled in their stalls. The warmth of fresh milk and alpine flowers, hung upside down to dry, holding your hand through another long, lonely winter.