t had snowed for the first time just two nights before Christmas. Everything around the chateau was blanketed in white, the trees hung with ice and snow. A shroud of mist made everything glow with an ethereal blue-white light.
The forest was a kingdom of ice, my horse and I trod carefully among the ancient oaks and evergreens, weaving along where I thought the trail might be, the snow coming easily to the fetlocks of my mount. It was not a deep snow, but judging by the sky and the scent of moisture in the air it was clear that more snow was on the way.
On the Fortunate Island, we never have snow. But in England as well as Scotland and France, snow comes every year. Somehow it seems that everyone hopes for the innocent blanket of white to symbolize the anniversary of the coming of the Christ. All the while everyone around me both at Court and in the countryside was preparing for the Christmastide festivities, my heart was as cold as the snow.