My boots crunched in the powdered snow. The world around me was imprisoned in a pale-white silence. Nothing sounded, nothing sang. The trees were stripped bare of their last leaves, leaving them naked in a harsh world. The lush green grass and meadows that once stood there, were forgotten in a sea of white. Buried in silence, winter’s deadly grasp had strangled all life from the land.

High above, the first stars shone brightly, like a sprinkle of fairy dust. A ghostly white moon hung there, shining a path for me in the unforgiving coldness. It was something my mother would have called a ‘Snow Night’. Far below me, coils of smoke drifted from sleepy hamlets. Children squealed excitedly as they played around in the snow, eagerly talking about their day.

“Ah! You’re here” Mother cried, brushing the snow off my coat. “We’ve been waiting for you. Hurry up and get changed.”

I smiled sweetly. A time of happiness, laughter and joy. This is what winter really should be like.