November 27, 2007
Lake in November
I spent most of last weekend sitting by the fire, listening to music, eating all kinds of food, and just hanging out with my family. I did not grade a single paper. But my husband and I did sneak out one afternoon for a walk at Pretty Colour Lake. Breathing in all that fresh cold air felt wonderful after a whole morning nestled in the comfy couch.
The ground was frozen, to our relief. The muddy paths had become nicely solid trails. Temperature rose into the 40s this weekend, but snow still lay in the shadows beneath the cedar trees. On sunny summer days, the lake is a brilliant green-blue colour, but on a grey November day, the water sometimes turns a deep blue. That's the wonderful thing about living in a climate with four seasons: no matter how many times you walk through the same landscape, the scenery is different.
Spouse and I walked the familiar paths, talking about our kids, our extended families, and our plans for the holiday season. For the first time in 22 years, we didn't take a holiday photo of the kids to send to friends and relatives: it seemed time to give that tradition up, since even our youngest child is now a teenager. And we didn't talk at all about buying gifts, since we don't have little kids any more. I'm not much into buying gifts for grown-ups. But many of the other traditions will continue, some deepening with meaning over the years.
The wooden Christmas village with the British theme that my parents built for me many years ago will be relevant now to more members of my family, now that my daughter and husband have both been to the European City With the Famous Clocktower. I feel a little sad that Mama Cat will not be guarding the village this year. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter and With-a-Why are continuing the tradition of making a Christmas chain to tack up on the walls: it's become a sister-brother bonding ritual. We'll continue to host the first of the family holiday get-togethers on the Saturday before Christmas, and I think just about everyone in the extended family will be able to come this year. (The closer the Saturday is to Christmas, the bigger the crowd we get.) We've already blocked off nights on the calendar for Christmas parties hosted by friends, but most importantly, I am looking forward to the end of the semester, when my two oldest kids will be moving home for a month. We've planned which day we will be going to get our tree, which is always one of my favorite parts of the season.
We planned the month ahead as we walked around a quiet lake that had just the thinnest layer of ice in some places. I could remember walking this same trail 22 years ago, pregnant with my first child, and excited about the new year coming because it would be the year during which I became a parent.
A group of geese in the middle of the lake rose at once, as we watched, and went flapping and honking to the far shore.
Posted by jo(e)