Our mountains are blanketed in the first powder of snow, the sun warm but weak, a bit like the cappuccino I’m sipping.

A large yellow tractor goes by, stopping for an elderly lady walking with a stick and large white shopping bag. The tractor parks and the driver swings down heading to the café, leaving the motor running.

The old men on the bench chat soaking up this late autumn sunshine.

A rooster crows, the leaves scatter in the breeze dancing as if to some unheard music.

The autumn leaves are so thick on the ground that you can lose a small child in them.

They crackle and crunch underfoot.

The French man from the Comune pulls up in his tiny van, leaving the motor running and heads to the same café.

Lunch time in a tiny Italian village.

A black pony  follows the old lady along the fence line, he is begging for an apple.

Now I know what she keeps in her big white bag.

Another truck, a large blue Nestle truck this time, the council truck’s motor has cut out, only the tractor engine is still turning.

A galloping child, the swing he just left still moving behind him.

The sun is warm, the day beautiful, the sky a soft blue, the air a little crisp, the colors all washed out, no jarring electric color here.

The colors are mirrored in the birds egg I found in an abandoned nest. The antique apples growing in our orchard.

I place it gently back into a nearby tree.

No sound other than the barking of a dog, the crunch of footsteps as the French man returns to his truck and heads back to work, the tractor departs, the nestle man checks his phone and disappears from view.

The voices of the old men carry across the square, three now in deep conversation.

Laughter and tickles and crunching leaves in the park.

The swing taking Luca as high as he dares go.

Life is so good here.

A plan is forming for our future, one that will include sharing our life here in the valley and encouraging others to quit the rat race and find a simpler life again.