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Unto The Hills
The House that Remembers


SOMEWHERE, on the edge of the forest, tucked away in some far cleft among the hills, is the House that Remembers. Not a large house, or a grand one, for the people who live there are poor by worldy standards, and have spent all their days wresting a living from the hard brown earth.

They would not be telling you this, though. Here, in the hills, one does not measure wealth in terms of hard cash. In their own eyes, they are rich -- and who, when he understands, will presume to contradict them? Rather would he feel a touch of envy for the peace which is forever theirs, here in the deep forest, living in the House that Remembers.

And what, we ask, does the house remember? What but the slow-changing pattern of the seasons, hardly to be glimpsed by its grimy counterpart in a city street. Spring, and the youth of the world. The creeping azaleas breaking through the snow -- the gold-tasselled rowan nodding in an April wind. Summer. Drowsy butterflies flitting across the shimmering moors; and breathless nights when the moon hangs like a big lantern over moveless trees. Autumn. The flame of heather on the hill; the golden leaves rusting and spinning to the sunwarmed earth. Lastly, Winter. The scentless frost-flowers blooming by the frozen stream. Space --and a silence broken only by laughter, the sound of the woodcutter's axe, the soft hiss of runners over snow.

At night, the little house seeming to crouch deeper, like a cosy cat, into the hollow, looking with orange eyes upon the mystery of moonlight -- remembering the magic of it for another year…


"The Log Cabin," Winter in Strathspey


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