It's cold outside. It's so cold outside that it's even cold inside this house. Too cold for the old walls, the old windows, the old heating. But I guess this house has seen darker nights and colder days. It's a very old house, survived two world wars, and it has its share of bruises and scars.

And tales to tell. So many people lived inside this house - mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters, grandchildren. So many people lived and slept here, talked and worked here, loved and dreamed here. Although I never met them, I sometimes think of them when I walk up and down the old wooden stairs that lead upstairs and downstairs. Like this morning, when I woke up early for no visible reason, wondering why I was so bright awake when it was so dark outside. When I decided to get up, cause I liked the idea of seeing dawn, and didn't feel like going back to sleep anyway.

So I wandered through the house while the world outside was still sleeping. Took a cup of tea upstairs with me, and sat there, watched the nightsky turning into a daysky. Listened to this old house that never seems to sleep, where you always can hear some floor crackling, some door creaking, some heating moaning, as if the house was speaking with itself, like old people speak with themselves. Not talking loud, cause they already have the answers. You can be scared by it if you want to, but you also can enjoy this woodtalk.

It is a little bit like running through the woods alone. Another thing I did this morning, in the cold. Something that feels like a punishment if you are forced to do it. Something that feels like crystal-clear pleasure if you want to do it. The air so clear and cold that the sunlight seemed to freeze in pastel colours. I really felt like walking in a painting, with the soft snow under my feet sparkling like fresh painted colour, and the forest looking like a magic wood. With me being a part of this forest for some timeless minutes, a winter-fairy, a wood-runner. With the forest whispering to me in a hundred voices, whisteling, squeaking, rustling, cracking. And me wishing I could understand more of this woodtalk.

(words: Dorothee Lang, Germany; picture: mira, France)

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