It was a magical night:  Bitterly cold, with the almost full moon shining brightly on the snow that lined the black tree branches, and it was very, very quiet.  At the passing of the old year and the dawning of the new, I was enchanted with the silver stars shimmering through the trees like jewels in an otherwise unusually dark sky.  Old friend Orion greeted me from over in the south, and Sam’s line from his Song in the Ork Tower came to mind:

“… and swaying beeches bear / the Elven-stars as jewels white / amid their branching hair”

There is something to say for silent new-year’s nights.




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