January 05, 2015

Getting outside

Over the last three weeks, I've spent most of my time at home. The house has been filled with family and food, which means I've had little reason to leave it. Every night as my husband and I go to bed, we say good night to the gang of young people downstairs: usually one group gathered at the kitchen table, playing a board game, and another group in by the fire, with books or laptops. My kids and extras are mostly either teachers or students, and we take winter break very seriously. I love hanging out at home when everyone is there, just eating and talking.

But when I talked to my friend Signing Woman the other day, she said, "You need to get outside." She was right. I'd stopped taking daily walks in my own woods when hunting season started. So I pulled on my boots, Signing Woman arrived with her dog, and we drove a few miles to the canal, where we've walked many times before.

The cold, fresh air felt great after so much time indoors. We had the towpath to ourselves as we walked along the canal, the dog Breeze running ahead to find squirrels. Falling snow coated tree limbs and bushes and most of the ice, although some dark open water remained near the muskrat home that Signing Woman pointed out to me. She's a naturalist (as well as an interpreter for the hearing impaired) so she kept pointing to tracks in the fresh snow and coming up with theories as to what animals had just run through.

We walked and walked on the endless towpath. The frozen canal, which really does go on for miles and miles, made me think of Hans Brinker (does anyone watch that movie or read that book anymore?). We used to skate on the canal when I was a teenager, but this year the ice is far too thin. We talked as we walked along, of course, often so deep in conversation that we didn't notice how hard it was snowing and at other times interrupting ourselves with exclamations about how beautiful the winter was.

January walk along the canal


Trina said...

Getting outside is important, even in the cold weather. Love that photo.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Beautiful. I love to get out, all four seasons!

(And yes, you've done good work with yr kids!!!)