Yesterday she and I ventured out and explored. I grabbed my camera and snapped off a grand total of 85 pictures. We ventured slightly beyond the backyard, back behind the garden and towards the edge of the bluff. We walked along the bluff for a short distance and observed white patches of snow blanketing the fields of the distant valley.
We turned around and stopped and visited my sister-in-law who lives next door. As we were talking, I noticed tiny footprints in the fresh thin layer of snow on her covered porch.
I was so struck by the imagery, I marveled at the precise detail left behind by the small visitor.
From there, we wandered out to the road and then over to our Secret Pond and then beyond there stepped out into a field of tall glass grass, bent over in a permanent wave. My seven year old enjoyed bulldozing her small body through the waves of grass, breaking the ice which sounded exactly like champagne glasses breaking. I could tell that she enjoyed the activity very much; that it was very satisfying to her.
From there, we meandered back through the woods, and stopped to visit the Secret Creek, which runs off from the Secret Pond. There were many small waterfalls gurgling and churning as the water made it's way down towards the hollow.
We eventually made our way back to the house, but we agreed we couldn't wait to go out again today.
Today, we went for a really long walk. We tromped through the woods until we made it out to the road on the other side, and went down the road for a bit. We went about half a mile or so, down a hill, past another creek and back up the other side and we came upon a trail that led into the woods. I had been on this trail before, twice, a long time ago while walking with one of my other daughters on our many walks together years ago. The trail led straight back into the woods. Eventually we came to a small clump of young trees all bent over with ice and snow, which created a sort of small canopy. We climbed under it and I couldn't help but to feel a sense of wonder at the quiet intimacy of the natural setting created by the snow and trees. I looked around and observed the smooth virgin snow all around us. Nothing had disturbed it since it fell three days ago. All of life was temporarily suspended, as if someone has pushed the Pause button on nature. Sounds were muffled also. I felt for just one moment, that we were off in some far distant land way up north where no man had ever been. It was a fantasy, really, I know, but the feeling of awe and admiration for nature was very real. I felt truly connected to the earth and sat there mesmerized by the beauty all around me, until my seven year old roused me from my thoughts and asked that we go on.
We continued on until we came upon a clearing where visitors sometimes go to camp. There, the area had been just as undisturbed as the areas in the forest had been. We spent a few moments there before leaving to return in the direction we had come. I watched as my seven year old skipped ahead of me, obviously enjoying our outing as much as I was.
When we returned home, I inflated one of our innertubes from our summer float along the Buffalo River and pulled my daughter on it back and forth along the driveway. It is truly ironic, but we have no sledding hills. Although we live on a mountain amongst many hundreds more mountains, our moutains are all pretty level on top, and where there are slopes, the slopes are too steep, too rocky and way to dangerous. We make do with what we have.
Eventually, we had to go back into the house so I could make dinner.
The rest of the day I kept thinking about that moment exploring in the woods. I feel as though God gave me a special gift today; one that I should remember and cherish for the rest of my life. It might seem simple to you, but to me, a day with snow is a magical day and I truly feel blessed and genuinely feel like when I came upon that stance of young trees bent over the snow, I found a really special place.