Last year winter seemed to drag on forever. Strings of weeks of deep, negative temperatures and a debilitating first trimester weighed me down with a force so strong I wondered if I would ever hoist myself out. This year, while it is still early, feels so utterly different. Yesterday my Monday walk reminded me of how true this is.
It was a lazy snow fall, one you never noticed was there at all until six inches had already fallen. The blanket of white was so stark and wide, matching the sky with such exactness that my depth perception was all out of whack as I tromped up and down the rolling hills. I had to stare down at the snow balls flipping off the toes of my boots drawing lines in the fluff a few feet ahead of me, just so I didn’t stumble. There are 360 degree panoramas at the top of every hill, and when the sky is so grey and misty with a fresh set of flakes falling, and your eyelashes are coated in ice or sweat or a combination of the two, it so hard not to just whoop out loud. Because really, it is that good.
My mind slows on these walks. I start off with a stream of wonderings, ones I thoroughly enjoy I might add.. what to place in the garden this spring, when to order those meat birds, how many blueberry bushes our growing family requires, where I might build an arch, how to graft an apple tree… and slowly, slowly I slip into a stomp, crunch, stomp, crunch rhythm that places me in the exact moment where I stand. I get so hot I pull up the sleeves on my wool sweater to feel the cold on my bare arms. The baby on my back is a heater good enough for most any temperature. It’s so quiet out there. So quiet I can hear my boys playing outside with the babysitter, echoing off the sides of these hills, for almost the entirety of my walk. But just barely. I am far enough away, to really feel away. This is what I crave. A bit of time where I answer to no one. And what I get from these walks is even more than that. I am permeated with a love for this land. A desire to stay here, perhaps forever. I become excited about my life in a way that the daily grind of diapers and meals and bottomless cups of coffee can’t give me.
Walking one day a week, just one hour. It is not much, and if my sweet little babysitter wasn’t so crazy about horses I would have her come every day. But, it is something. Mondays. They bring a lightness to my week that I can transfer over and over again all week.
And to bring a cuteness factor to this post…. I present you a sweet little Jasper Ray