From above, the entire landscape has melted into a vast white stretch of desolation. The world as we now see it resemles a blank canvas, waiting in quiet anticipation for the arrival of Spring, who will paint upon it her familiar masterpiece of bright sunny days and colorful gardens.

The valley below us is asleep, waiting for a warm day to awaken it and bring every inch of it to life. This slumber and awakening is no new occurence to the valley. It has experienced this rebirth since the very dawn of time, and will likely continue in this pattern until the world arrives at its close.

We have seen the valley in many different stages as we, too, have been alive since the beginning of time. We have often swum in the river that slices through the valley like a knife, and even occasionally continued downstream until we reached the ocean. Cool and comfortable as the ocean was, we never stayed there long. One way or another we always managed to return to our valley. There we spent our mornings wandering through the grassy meadows, gently touching every leaf and flower petal. Many times, when the rain arrived just in time to refresh the dry and thirsty earth, we danced amid the droplets, revelling in Nature's unrivaled ability to renew herself.

Those were the days when the earth was green. Now all is white, cold, still. The first snow has arrived, accompanied by the blanket of absolute silence that is unmistakably associated with winter. We are falling now, darting back and forth at the whim of the icy wind. As the seconds pass, the earth rises to meet us. One by one we settle softly onto the ground, the upreaching arms of the bare trees, and the impossibly flat surface of the frozen river.

One day soon the warm air and the rain will return to bring life to our home; life in the form of new grass and bird songs. But for now we are at rest; constant observers of a changing world.