Fair weather, warm sun, and a Sunday happened all at once yesterday. It was a recipe for adventure and the chance to breath in the damp scent of earth and snow. Spring has started, clocks have been changed, and the sun is allowed to stay up past it's curfew. I'm here. Right here. I'm waving a flag that says "WELCOME" and putting out my thoughts of sandals into the universe. Soon it will come, and I am ready. We all are, aren't we?
It wasn't a terribly long winter. We did receive more snow than we have in many years prior but I enjoyed it. Winter is snow. If it's going to be cold and bitter, in my book it might as well let out some pretty white flakes. There comes a time though, somewhere between New Year's day and now that I grow inpatient with the storms. This year I am thankful for March coming in like a lion, because now I can look forward to it slipping out like a lamb.
Our first hike found us on a portion of the Appalachian trail. With all the snow melted at home we expected it to be the same only fifteen minutes away... but to our surprise it wasn't. More than 6 inches remained on the path. We were prepared though with warm layers and snow boots. The snow was soft and slushy where the trail had been flattened. It took on a slightly yellow hue from the rotting autumn leaves below. I thought about how painters usually use variations of blue to add shade while painting snow... but it's not blue in the shadows at all. The true color presents itself in shades of grey and a grey toned lavendar (artistic mental note). Truly lovely it is.
The trees that held their pale yellow butter colored leaves all winter shivered in the light breeze. Each little leaf shook like it had been set a vibrate. I told everyone to stand still, be silent, and listen. The sound that presented itself was that of a mexican maraca. Sort of like rice in a tube being softly flustered.
Over a small man-made foot bridge ahead we were bestowed a beautiful sight...
The trail/woods were quiet except for the ten minute stint when my almost three year old son decided he wanted me, and cried for me from the hiking pack upon daddy's back. A little reassurance that I would hold him soon, daddy playfully teasing him with a stuffed cat, and we were back on track. The snow was perfect packing snow from the temperature lifting. I thought about if we had prepared a little more (gloves) we could of built a snowman right on the trail to greet other hikers on their own adventurous journey. Food for thought in plans for next year.
Signs of spring could not only be felt... but also seen, even with the 8-12 inches of snow on the forest floor. Greening moss, last years fern and rhododendron bushes were conjointly brightening.
This was a short hike to start us off. Many more hiking experiences are on the horizon. Between mountain, hill, and tree trunk we will take nothing but photos and leave in return, nothing but footprints. We are ready... or rather my husband and I are. The kids will warm up as we move along. The complaints of "my legs are tired" and "are we done yet?" will replaced with "where are we going to go today? and "it's hot, will there be waterfalls to go into?". This is the stuff families are made of. The stuff our family is made of. Activities unique to you, us, each other. We are an outdoors family. We crave wild open spaces and gifts from nature to feast our eyes upon.
Life is right outside your door and I want my children to always realize that.