Today (Tuesday I suppose…though they all run together any more) was another beautiful day outside. Just like sledding the other day, we took advantage of our time, as a family we went to the movies around lunch time. See, we’ve got this movie theater bucket sitting in the pantry that we can fill with popcorn for three dollars, and there’s no sense not using it. We went and saw ‘Frozen’ which is surprisingly still playing at the theater; at least there still is a noon matinée.
I really enjoy going to the movies. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I suppose it’s the escapism it offers: for around two hours I forget all about life’s ills. And the more ill life becomes the more it’s nice to take a break and immerse one’s self in some other reality. The more I think of it, the more I believe that the people who make movies really do earn their keep. It’s always slightly disappointing stepping out into the harsh light of the afternoon from a darkened theater.
They need to invent a job where you watch movies all the time.
Back at home I got some work done as the boys took a nap. The wife was busy working upstairs when I reached my break point (not breaking point). I snuck outside and went for a walk. That’s probably one of the best things about working at our home: taking walks. With all the warm weather the water was running again this afternoon and I wanted to see how it was getting along.
I walked along the soggy yard. My pond slowly trickled over the driveway. I went up to the nature path towards the south hedge row. The walking is easy – everything is devoid of leaves and the snow knocked pretty much all the grass and brush down. I looked around for the “big rock” that supposedly marks the south line, at least on paper it does. I didn’t find it, but I watched as water flowed from the neighboring field through the row, pooled, then continued its journey towards the makeshift pond. Buried deep in the hedge row I saw an old riding tractor. It looked almost like a quarter scale, old farm tractor. It was nothing but rusted metal, though the black rubber of its knobby rear tires looked as good as new through the thicket. I thought of inspecting it closer, but I wasn’t really dressed for bush whacking; after all this was just a “walk” I was going on.
I left the micro tractor behind and headed up the nature trail. The thought occurred to me to look for shed antlers. So my gaze danced along the meadow and wood floor as I followed the path I had carved last year; then the paths made by deer. I didn’t find any sheds but it was peaceful to follow the little trails in the woods and watch as the land reverted back to its brown canvas from its blanket of white.
I circled around and passed the bees. They were enjoying the warm temperatures. Steadily they would emerge from the hive and eventually return. I could hear the rush of water streaming down the only “real” water feature on the property. Last year we didn’t have nearly this much rain or snow. It is liking seeing the property again for the first time. Or at least the first time in Winter.
The land was alive.
Without any leaves one can see for a great distance and your eye picks up sublet terrain changes that you’d never observe any other time of year. Eyes open or closed, it is as if you can feel the land, trace it in your mind, see the water flow over it. Man-made or god-made the contours are there. The faint din of water seeks out every crease.
Merging and diverging until it all hastens to one general spot and exits the property. It’s wonderful to see the order of things, how nature works. That’s awe. That’s wonder. That’s beauty. All that from a simple afternoon stroll.
Tomorrow will be frozen again. May not get out of the teens, and more snow is expected. But the damn has been compromised, Spring is on its way.
I can’t wait to see the chartreuse wash of longer days, but for now I can appreciate the beauty and solemnity of a hard fought winter.