My children need no reminders. Being children, and loving winter as they do, they're outside just as often as can be. Sometimes they'll spend a whole long day on the mountain, come home and pop their heads inside long enough only for dinner, then back out by headlamps and flashlights or moonlight they go - to ski, to skate, to build, to slide, to play. To breathe good air under a beautiful night sky. They need to be reminded, in fact, to come in sometimes. To eat. To put a hat on their heads.
But Mamas sure can slip into habits otherwise, can we not? Once our children no longer need us at their side out there every minute (really, can it be that ALL of my children can tie their own shoes and get dressed without my help, excepting those blasted ice skates? Where do these years go, the boot-wrangling I thought would never end?). Sure, I'm out there plenty for farm care, visiting with the animals, watching ski races, and so many other things. But I really do have to remind myself this time of year, when it's so cold and icy out there, and so warm and cozy in here with a million excuses on my to do list that keep me in, that going out for no other reason than just to breathe is absolutely essential. To clearing one's mind, to getting some clarity, to breathing deep breaths, to being witness to the beauty for there is just so much of it everywhere. I haven't been sleeping well lately (surely I'm not alone in that!), feeling like my body and mind are restless, and a clear indication that I need to move my body to work it all out. I've been finding a lot of joy of late on snowshoes in the woods, which I think is just my kind of a pace, really. Cross country skiing is fun, sometimes, when the conditions are just right....but I'm not a fan of going too fast and the hills always stress me out. My children laugh and call my style of skiing "ski walking," which is pretty accurate and a good indication that maybe I should just stick to walking to begin with. My uncle generously gifted us a few pair of traditional snowshoes recently, and it's changed everything for me with that 'sport'. The wider, wooden shoes are so much better for the not-groomed trail walking I do in the woods of our property. And they're so comfortable for walking that I can really not have to worry about my feet at all, and rather can look at the trees, the sky, the cat that is always in front of me. I'm trying to get out there everyday for at least a quick walk in the woods, a walk that has no purpose except the very important purpose of feeding my soul and spirit. I haven't quite reached the stamina of my kids, and you won't find me out there with a headlamp after dinner just for a quick nighttime walk. But you know....never say never. I just might.