Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Perfect Winter Day

I cannot get enough of this winter. We have had snow on the ground for three solid weeks (unusual here in Southeastern Connecticut) and it's just so beautiful. I can barely contain myself. I want to bottle some of this dim and shiny winter gloriousness to open some long, too bright day in July when I've had quite enough of summer and long again for winter.

Sunday was the perfect winter day. I met Susan at 5 in the morning at Bluff Point for a four-hour run on the trails. I can run forever on the snow with no pain whatsoever in my ankle or foot. Weird. I see that Paige noticed the same thing on her snowy run last Saturday. We'll have to come up with a new therapy fad: Snow Running for Health and Longevity!!!

Susan and I had a lovely run. The first half was dark and a little spooky in the woods. There were animal tracks all over the place. Some of the tracks were obvious: squirrell, bird, rabbit. But some were unusually big and forbidding. Panther? Couger? Bobcat? What? We'll have to bring our footprint tracking guide next time.

The sun came up a little after 6:30 and, oh, what a breathtaking sight it was. The first light on the snow is holy. It's quiet and substantial and gorgeous and rare. I just love it. The sky got pink over the water and lit up the dead grasses lining the trail by the cliffs. I didn't bring my camera (which would not have done justice to the scene anyway) so you're just going to have to take my word for it. It was a fine, fine thing to see.

After it got light Susan and I turned off the main fire road and hit the fun trails. We ran and ran and ran. We kept a slow steady pace, talked our heads off, and the time flew by.

By the end of four hours, we were toast. Running in the cold takes the stuffing out of you. The body fighting to keep warm uses tons of energy. It's almost a different sport from summer running. I love and adore running in the winter. Why can't we have winter all year long? Why, why, WHY??

I thought I would spend the rest of the day curled up by the woodstove with my new book (Desert Queen -- a fascinating biography of Gertrude Bell, who was instrumental in establishing the country of Iraq at the beginning of the 20th Century).

Actually, I didn't really think that. More of a pipe dream. People with three little kids in the house do not generally do much curling up. Because, Moooo-ooom, that's so boring!

We took the kids skating. All afternoon. It had snowed on Friday, so we weren't sure if there would be ice to skate on or not. When we got to the pond we found that we could kind of skate over the top of the snow. It was like adventure skating. Black diamond skating. The ice under the snow was uneven, so you never knew when you'd hit a bump or a divot or a dead spot. Blam! We all bit it at one time or another.

We skated until just before dusk. Again, the light took my breath away. The sky turned indigo with streaks of pink shooting through. Stop, time! Keep this moment now. It is all so beautiful.


  1. It was indeed beautiful. I'm seeing that all seasons have some beauty to them. It seems to me to be brighter whent the sun hits the snow than in July though. I love winter running now, but long for the aliveness of summer.

  2. I like your new therapy fad idea, very cool :) My PT was stumped when I asked him what it felt good to run on the uneven snow. He thought I was kidding when I said there was no pain in the ol' ankles. Hmmm, must be some of that black magic snow! I'm not complaining!

  3. Maybe you two are on to something!

  4. I'm definitely jealous of the sounds of that run. Sounds like it was a lot of fun! I love running as the sun is rising!!!


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