Sunday, March 23, 2014

Easy Wandering

This was a column I recently had published in the Kings County Record.  The hope is to inspire people to embrace the long winter as opposed to complain about it.  If you can get outside and enjoy the late March snow and warm winter time temperatures, then there is a ton of fun to have.

It is starting to look like we are in for a longer than anticipated winter.  This is especially true if you believe what the groundhog predicted.  One good thing about the large amount of snow that is hanging around this time of year; it makes for great snow shoeing.  The sun warms up the late morning and afternoon air to comfortable levels.  You now can easily convince yourself to make time to shake of the winter blues by getting outside.

I recently got out for a snow shoe across a large farm field and it was inspiring for how simple and easy the occasion was.  There was no need to drive far, I didn’t need to worry about getting lost, and for those who don’t like tough terrain; it was flat, almost barren.  When I looked across the field it was easy to see why some parts of the arctic are consider desert.  The trekking was so easy that my mind easily wandered to random stuff. 

The cold was biting at my nose and my ear lobes but the sun was fighting for its share of attention as well.  The bright blue sky and the light reflecting off the snow made it hard to ignore the sun and thus it warmed not only my face but my inside as well.  The wind, not to be out done, blew light wisps of snow around my collar and strangled me as the snow melted down the back of my neck.  The heat, with a big push from the inner heat, wins out and I push further across the field.

A large tree in the distance caught my attention and I alter my course to check it out.  The hardwood tree appears cold, despite being partially hugged by a large pine.  It is a maple tree with scaly grey bark and its outer limbs are partially covered in ice.  I couldn’t help but hug the tree and as I did I noticed a number of black capped chickadees flitting between the maple and the pine.  I came out of my own head for a minute and listened.  The birds were chirping and the wind was more brisk here now that the sun was behind the trees the cold was starting to win the battle.

I moved back out into the field and the sunshine and smiled as my cheeks warmed once again.  My next point of interest was a corral on the sunny side of a tree line.  With the snow draping off of it, it looked older than what it likely was.  I felt like I was in an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” where my character was looking for a missing horse.  It was a cool feeling and I was now fully retreated back into my own head again.  Then it hit me….this easy field snow shoeing is a great place to come and recharge and get inspired.  I should do this more often.

If you’ve been stressed about this long winter season, or fretting about taxes maybe, or considering a job change; try going to a nearby field and snow shoe across or around the field.  Let your mind wander and listen to what speaks to you.  Without a doubt, as you walk, you will feel your body coming to life.  You’ll feel the cold breezes more vividly, you’ll feel that sun light pushing the cold aside, and you’ll feel your soul warming with the season.

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