Halfway into my first cup of coffee, laughter draws me to the window. It’s winter and the last storm left several feet of snow before it blew off to wreak havoc in the East.

I expect to see brightly clad skiers, boarders, or kids with the latest techno gear hike past the cabin on their way up Mt. Tallac looking for backcountry action. What I see are tourists. A family of three. They’ve skirted the Forest Service gate and left boot tracks along the center of the road before veering halfway up the narrow pathway to my home. 

Knowing the magic which brought them close to my door, I step to the side so I can enjoy the moment without intruding on theirs. A tiny woman with shining black hair holds a toddler while her husband clowns around.

Wind howls down the mountain. Rustles the pines. A thick bough drops its load and the trio is covered in snow. They stop laughing. Then tip their faces to the trees, expressions a mix of awe and delight. Next thing I know, all three are laying across the trail, rolling, scooting, making snows angels. 

Warmed by their antics, I pour another cup of coffee. Later I’ll clear the path.