Welcome to December

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

There is a certain squeaky harmony to the sound of footfalls on the snow, a quiet music that sings of the life and beauty all around us. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and the tracks we leave behind each become a universe, sometimes short-lived, sometimes enduring, and sometimes filled with treasure. (See photo, right.)

The consequences of our treads are often unknown to us, though at the holidays we are more cognizant of the impact of our actions on those around us and vice versa — including the activities at the A.D. German Warehouse in Richland Center (p. 5,) Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts (pp. 7 and 11), the Richland Concert Association (p. 9), the Friends of the Spring Green Community Library (p. 11), and musician Katie Burns (p. 21).

What is in a frozen footprint? A butterfly? A snow angel? See “Driftless Terroir: Finding Ephemeral Treasures in Everyday Tracks,” by Heather Harris.

Stories of reflection, gratitude and creative energy also fill the pages of this December edition. Kathy Steffen inspires us to engage our creativity in “Between the Lines.” Vince Kavaloski muses on growing old in “Parables and Ponderings.” Doris Green guides us toward mining genealogical research in “Tracking Your Past.” Jennifer Moore-Kerr reminds us of the importance of recreation in “Time Capsules.” Etienne White waxes on the meaning of home in “Where the Earth Meets the Sky.” And John Heasley orients us to the heavens as we pass from autumn into winter in “Driftless Dark Skies.”

A look back at this year’s covers (back page) reveals a shift mid-summer toward the layout you see today, with themes of art and photography spanning the realms of nature and imagination. Voiceoftherivervalley.com was also totally redesigned to bring you a powerful user-friendly calendar of events and beautiful interactive pages that allow you to search for and share your favorite Voice content.

To all of you who contributed your calendar events, your ads, your art, your time or your words, thank you. We would like to thank our columnists — Ainsley Anderson, Marnie Dresser, Doris Green, Mary Friedel-Hunt, John Heasley, Vince Kavaloski, Jennifer Moore-Kerr, Kathy Steffen, Etienne White — and all the “Driftless Terroir” guest columnists this year, including Bazile Booth, Keith Burrows, Christy Cole, Jerry Davis, Eric Friedericks, Heather Harris, Caitlin Hatch, Esther Hill, Erin Crooks Lynch, Debi Morton and Tom Sieger. You inspire so many.

Warm wishes for all your winter celebrations, and see you in the new year.

Happy reading,