Monday, 22 February 2010
In praise of...the winter walk
'Twas a sunny, mild day in the Kink on Saturday, so hub and I got off our lazy bottoms and took Jady Lady for a sleigh ride in the woods. First, though, D had to teach her the fine art of downhill "lugeing": he popped her in the little sled Grandpa Ed gave her for Christmas and sent her for a spin down the gentle slope behind our house.
On her maiden run, baby Jade looked terrified: her lips were pulled tight in horror and her eyes bugged out, even though she wasn't going any faster than I could walk. But by her third voyage, she was giggling like a crazy girl. I'm sure she would have clapped her hands had she not been jammed into her baby bear snowsuit and unable to move.
Once D and his daughter had exhausted the thrill of the hill, we changed sleds (using Grandma Shirley's giant, heavy duty sled, complete with cover and wind-shield) and went off through the cedars on the snowmobile trail. The sky was that cerulean colour of blue it only gets on a clear winter day; the sun was melting into the lake. I could smell the tang of cedar branches as we brushed past them and the snow crunched delightfully beneath our feet. Jade was babbling happily to herself; D and I didn't need to talk, and just exchanged occasional smiles.
We stopped to visit D's cousin, and by the time we left, it was nightfall. Stars glowed in the sky; the moon's crescent was verging on a half wedge. I picked out Antares, the red star, and even discerned the double star in the handle of the big dipper, something that rarely happens with my less-than-sharp vision.
A winter walk is one of those things that makes you feel glad you're alive, and taking a winter walk at night just enhances the experience.