My dear Sophie,

I wandered yesterday after dark for many hours. I didn’t quite enter the forest but I kept circling it. There were many flowers and many birds, still, and I pretended to see them, but my mind was far far away, across all the continents and all the seas, in the mountains of my ancestors where snow storms have not stopped since I left. When will I be able to return?

I saw the mountain hermit in my dreams. He is making the clouds and the rains. He is looking after the two trees that we planted, ones we named after the two sisters of the east who fell in love…