Last night, warmed by the heat of the wood stove, I sipped peppermint tea and awaited one more trip to the city. My mind could not be any further away from the bustling metropolis…thoughts of epic mountain passes, powdery snowflakes, ice cold beers and good friends…
But the “real” world called: DC-bound. Of course, this morning, my flight was canceled.
So, instead of hustling out the door for one more airport run, I did what I always do: worked from the old Black Forest German table that has been handed down from my parents, to my sister, to me. I sat and I worked and tonight, I still can not get my mind off what is to come as I think about what has been.
I am welcoming winter with open arms. For all its chill, this time of year warms my heart and pushes me to explore in a new way. Explore not just places, but my own mind, my own beliefs and what I value in a season. In my profession, I talk about phenology a lot – the timing of events in the natural world (you know, seasonal stuff like when flowers bloom, leaves change color, birds migrate…the list goes on) – and I have realized that moving to a new place challenges you to learn the “new normal”. Apparently, exploring the hills in November is “normal” in these parts. And, as new residents of this state, Sam and I decided to go with it and explore the mountains for his birthday. We slept in cars, drove tractors, embraced the burn of a 4-brush pile bonfire, and gave thanks for the lives we get to live at this year’s Thanksgiving with friends up north.
I look forward to learning the new annual events in this place. And if each year, during the last weekend of November, we can fire up a tractor, ski a mountain pass, or sit around the table with delicious food and good friends and loved ones, I think I will be okay.
We celebrate anniversaries, new life, life lost, the first snowfall, the first peeps of spring frog calls, the longest and shortest days…but of all the annual events, we should also remember to celebrate each and every day and the people you get to spend them with. Get outside, go walk, ride, scoot, sit. I’m not picky…just get outside.