Part of keeping up the vim and vigor is playfulness, actively playing at something even when you don’t feel like it or haven’t the time for it. One must force oneself to play, as if that were ever a consideration during childhood. Part of bringing up children, in fact, is encouraging them toward activity when they’d prefer not to budge. A game must be hatched. The game this morning was a we-are-not-wimps exercise, designed by my husband for our two young people…and for me, I suspect. First snow is upon us and, as is his way, my husband decided we needed to get out in it while the flakes yet fell. The outside thermometer indicated twenty-seven degrees of cold comfort. I could feel my feet getting heavier already, torn between the contentment of inertia and the challenge of establishing momentum.
We suited up the children, opened the door and walked away into the woods near the house. The game was clearly going to build character. This was not the quiet soft snowfall of the movies. This was sharp little ice crystals carried on the wind at terminal velocity against our cheeks, pelting the poor birds sideways at my father-in-law’s feeders as we passed them en route to adventure. Our son is typically the first to broadcast his opinions, just now his regret over joining the trek. This man that I married reminded him that a choice to join was not given, reluctant enlistees all of us. Would they really rather be inside on such a rare and glorious day? They would.
Our daughter is clever. As Dad barked his orders of “let’s go!” and “turn this way!” and “not that way!”, my young lady recognized the hike for what it actually was, a game of Follow the Leader. Not to be outdone, she extended her gait until she overtook her father and put a significant distance between herself and the three of us. Now we would follow her, no more barking. I was, for a moment, almost envious. My daughter had more of my own spirit than I just then.
Uphill, downhill, through sheltering woods and across windswept fields…such a lovely thing to hike through deep snow with the ones we love, really. Upon returning indoors, I noticed we were all chirpier than before leaving, some extra buzz to our beings. The pictorial follows, humble testament to the notion of things that are good for us. Happy days to you!