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Tuesday, February 15, 2011: Showshoe Valentine

           Last weekend was perfect for snowshoeing at the cabin. We had left the cabin with nine inches of snow on the ground and came back to find another foot. There had been no crusting over; to walk without snowshoes meant sinking up to our knees with each step. The deer, fox and turkeys had obviously all bedded down, unwilling to break new paths, and the snow remained white, pristine.

           Saturday, the sun was out, temperatures hovered around freezing (warm by recent standards) and we jumped in the car and headed out to the North Trail. There is a swampy area back along the river bank. We’d gone to this area last spring because I had just discovered the skunk cabbage flower and because once I proved to R. that flowers actually did come out in the cold of early March, his own enthusiasm took over. He knew where to find a flat area along the river that was covered with skunk cabbage. We had put on knee-high boots and tramped through mud, each excitedly calling out when we found some new variation of the exotic green, purple, and yellow flowers.

         Returning to this spot reminds me  of my husband's enthusiasm with my skunk cabbage flower expedition. He never had seen the flowers before I went looking for them, and his child-like delight enchanted me, made me glad I had someone like R. who, though he would never pick up a camera himself, could still share my enthusiasm for oddities of nature.

          Now we return to find layers of snow covering the ground . . . and silence. We are the only ones here. The snow is undisturbed, laid down in a thick blanket over fallen trees, piled in scattered snow mounds across the river. The whiteness absorbs even the sound of the river.

Our snowshoes sink down six to eight inches and I am grateful to be following my husband, letting him pack down part of the trail. With old wooden snowshoes we are lifting three and a half pounds with each step, not including the snow that gets carried along. Doing Stair Master with weights, we say.

           I am always amazed how patient my husband can be with my photography. I know he wants to keep moving. To see him waiting, without comment, just calm acceptance, well . . . it warms my heart.

          Today the going is rough. We are both grateful to connect back up to our original track from the road to the swamp. As I follow behind R., I notice his shoes occasionally make little heart shapes on the trail.

        This is our Valentine Day celebration: not a fancy restaurant or glamorous night on the town, but the still beauty of undisturbed nature. It pulls at my heart strings, this feeling of spreading out my awareness, becoming part of creation.

Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:16AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

This is utterly beautiful. Love the snowshoe heart. I enjoyed looking at your blog.
February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy
Thanks, Judy. I love the photos on your blogsite, too.
February 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic

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