I come back, once again to the Wizard of Oz quote, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I wont look any further than my own backyard.” That was the beautiful truth this winter break when Montana and I decided to stay in Michigan and do, ‘all things Winter.’ We have yet to have a disappointing day.
Winter can be difficult to find the warmth, until you put on a couple of layers, and take that first step out your door. No matter what you do, you’ll find iced branches and glistening crystals painted by Jack Frost, a master ‘out-terior’ designer.
If I’m running I know I will heat up quick and frankly, I’m at a point where I rotate two vests and two long sleeve tops. My bottoms are usually one thicker layer, unless it dips below the 0* and then I’ll put a second layer over for just a little something more. My gloves have a flip over top so that when I get heated up I don’t have to take them off, I just can un-flip and give the little digits a breathe of the fresh air. I usually go with a head-band that Katherine gave me as a gift last year. I love the ‘turtle’ around my neck despite it has no wicking features, is cotton, and freezes on the outside once I get going. Still, I love the soft warm on the inside and it lets nothing down my neck. Once it freezes it doesn’t move and I don’t much notice it, other than it keeps me from getting breezy.
I know shoe in just about this same get-up. If I go out at night I will probably put a coat on over everything. As much as I like an adventure it’s not worth getting cold and out-of-sorts at night…too much can go wrong and too much to risk. I usually take a head-lamp, a flashy or colorful light so anyone looking would realize it’s not the moon glistening off the snow but a person out there. I’ve also become a for sure wearer of my RoadID that brags of all my loves.
If I’m going out with Montana, or plan to just stroll through a snow shoe or a cross-country or sledding or ice skating or …. or…. or I have a pair of snow pants that work their magic and let me be a fun mama getting-as snowy as any of the kids-kind of momma.
And so, off we go….into the White, Deep, Yonder……
I think we have a yearning to share our loves with our children. It doesn’t mean they too will love the event, but at least there is a chance if you expose it to them. So, Montana and I go out snowshoeing whenever we can, and this year we can a lot. The snow has come a lot to the Metro Detroit area this winter and it has piled pretty high. The sights while snowshoeing out in the trees and through the bush are nothing short of walking underneath a pergala of snow covered branches. How the snow blows, piling up against the enormous trees, how the white stuff lays delicately on vines, twigs, and bushes seems as if Mother Nature frosted each one individually. And so we trek together on the trails of the glittery woods.
I like snowshoeing the most of the winter sports because, in the words of my sister, “no sissy la-la’s.” It is by far, one of the most difficult activities I have ever done. Competing on snow shoes is by far the most difficult race I’ve ever done in my day. I hated that I loved each stride of that 20k run in Tahquamana Falls.
So, now that Tana is six and I can’t lug her around in a carry contraption or on a sled; she has her own opinions of what she wants to do, we do a lot more playing in the snow. We build forts,
use colored water to write, draw, and add details, snowmen and snow unicorns, and of course, the timeless snowball fight. A ton of kids and I threw snow at each other for hours the other day. Laughing, rolling around, giggling, and being reminded of Montana Winter Days gone by.
We live across from a lake that we shoveled off, from a foot of snow, to create an ice skating rink for the neighborhood kids. That kept us all busy for hours. The neat sense of community and fellowship that grew as the size of their rink grew was powerful. To hear their excitement as the rink took shape with each shovel and throw of snow was fuel to keep on keepin’ on. Montana is highly motivated when the bigger kids in the neighborhood can do something and she doesn’t want to be left out, so she has gone back and forth on any size ice slab she can find in order to be able to get out there with the kids and keep up. Love this kid.
She also loves sledding and now that we don’t have to haul her back up the hill each time she goes down we like it quite a bit more too.
The speed, the laughter, the oblivion to the cold and willingness to stay outside for hours is remarkable. Kids really do have a special ingredient…..I often when that sense of adventure fades. I think for some of us it may be never and for others of us we may go in and out of it as life allows.
The creamy cocoa awaiting our return home is a chance to sit and reflect on the moment and continue to be present, the best present of the season.
Groovy Girls Go …… Unwrapping the Present that is Our Present