I love deep snow under a bluebird sky and the quiet crunch that is the sound of progress.
It is slow-going but rhythmical. It takes lots of energy to go fast, especially if it’s powder snow. I try not to overdo too early in the trek. I pace myself, keep steady, conserve the energy I will need to finish up. I do far better at keeping my form if I don’t rush and I don’t hurry.
The sun and my exertion warm me and I sweat. The snow is deeper the further into the forest I go. I am the first tracks. I am, in fact, the only tracks that will mar this route today.
I am fed by what I feel outdoors, nourished by the sun and the cold on my face. I am encouraged by the pines and the tracks of small creatures in the snow. I keep at it, going steadily uphill and down, through the open meadow where wildflowers will grow next summer and down into the grove of aspens that were gold in September.
Here in this season, it is cold and quiet. No hustle, no bustle, no undue stress. It is hard work, but it is very satisfying. It is incredibly quiet and I can hear myself think.
But, happily, I am not thinking about what I need to do. I am not planning anything in my head nor am I compiling any lists. I am doing what I should do at this moment.
I am moving steadily along, following on a path that wiggles and meanders and has no particular end in mind. The only aim is to go through the motions and enjoy the deep snow and the bluebird sky.
Bliss that will be remembered when I return and my body is very tired and my muscles are sore. I will hang on to that bliss when the time comes to go back to the to do list.
I will remember how it felt out in the woods when the crazy and dark side of the season threatens to get me down. I will think of the peace and the quiet of nature at its best. I will make my way at a steady pace, conserving my energy.
I will hang onto that bliss.
“The human spirit needs places where nature
has not been rearranged by man.”