As I just turn toward the woods I know it won't be long before dawn breaks the night.
My feet crunch through the snow with a sound like eating a bowl of Capt'n Crunch cereal.
There will be no sneaking up on any wildlife.
The morning star shines down on me through the trees overhead. Moon shadows distort the ground, hiding dips and bumps. I walk through the woods like I'm on board a ship, tossed about by swells. The darkness drives me out of the woods into the field where the first hint of day touches the snow.
It sparkles like shattered glass in the moonlight.
I crunch across the field to peer over the hill's edge into the village below.
Down there, children are bouncing awake, dragging parents out of bed and pulling bows off of boxes.
I am reminded of why I celebrate Christmas, turning back to the morning star which has followed me to this field.
One last look and I enter the woods again with the moon still over my shoulder.