We had a fairly large storm two weeks ago. After half a day stuck in side and two trips out to try to keep up with the snow, I got a bit of cabin fever and took my youngest, the one most like me in many ways, out into it for a walk. We trudged, clad in parkas, boots, face shields and mittens, the half kilometer or so to the highway near our home. The wind and snow blew and more than once we debated turning back, but we persevered until we reached the middle of the normally busy two lane road.
“Look up that way” I told him pointing north, “what do you see?”
“Look that way” I directed him to the south, “what do you see?”
“What do you hear?”
“The wind in the trees”
We kept walking, crossed the highway, down a sideroad to a small creek that had only a skittering of ice on it. We tossed rocks until they broke through. Threw long branches like spears, sticking them into the ice until the surface looked like the grounds of a medieval battle. We walked on, up he road until we reached an area where a small grove of ancient pine stood, likely over a century old.
“Do you hear that?”
“Yes, cool eh?”
“Is it dangerous?”
“No” I laughed, “It’s just the trunks rubbing together in the wind. See how they all grew from the same point at the bottom? Likely it was one big tree that was knocked over by lightning or wind years and years ago and new shoots grew from the trunk to become almost separate trees”.
“What have we not seen since we left the house?”
“People, cars, animals.”
“Yup. I like this. Its what I do when I go outside in the snow or at night sometimes. I wander. It’s like we are the only people left on the planet.”
“Cool” he looked around, threw a rock or two into the woods at a small pond full of ice. “I like it too”.
“I find it calming.”
He nodded. “I’m getting cold, can we go back?”
“Sure. Hot chocolate?”
And we headed back, calm, quiet and content if a bit cold and windburnt. My thirteen year old hold him my hand like he did when he was much smaller for a good portion of the return trip. We saw no cars, no people, no animals the rest of the way. We heard nothing but wind and snow blowing. We were alone in the world and okay with it, because that’s the kind of people we both are.
And it was good.