This world…it’s something to wonder about, that’s for sure. We wonder what it could be, what it should be, what it will be, what it won’t be…sometimes we get so caught up in wondering what this world is coming to that we lose our sense of wonder altogether. Once in a while, you just need to escape all those ought-to-be’s and not-to-be’s and go play. Wander, discover, explore. Get lost in a little wonderland of your own.
Well, I have no idea how to start this post, but I find myself with a little injury-induced downtime and a perfect opportunity for catching up. But I must admit that I’m not really in the mood. My mind is in a cloud of melancholy and I don’t quite know what to say. Seeking solace in my digital memories, as I so often do, I remembered starting this post about our snowshoe outing a few weeks back. A few weeks…or six or seven…whatever. Oh, how I would love to find that secret hiding place, that mysterious abyss where all this missing Time gets tucked away! Anyway, my hubby is out for a snowshoe adventure today while I am stuck at home, pitifully longing for some snow play of my own. And wistfully yearning for a view.
If I could have my way, I would gladly spend my days wistfully watching the clouds. If I were allowed, I would simply sit in that hypnotic trance watching storm clouds dance in this great expanse of desert sky. I am constantly amazed. Hypnotized, mesmerized, drawn into that continuous cycle of formation and destruction. It is a meditation in motion, calming my emotions and exciting them all at the same time.
Yesterday was another gray and dreary Saturday. My husband had to work all weekend, so we had no outdoor play time on the agenda. With a million-and-one things to be done, I figured it would be a good opportunity to attend to some of those to-do’s still stubbornly lingering on my list. I really needed to tend to the veggies…those sadly neglected winter roots and greens cluttering up the countertop and causing chaos in the fridge. I got up early to keep the hubby company as he prepared for his workday Saturday and I was feeling a little badly about his working weekend predicament. We do look forward to our weekend wandering and it’s always a little disappointing when grown-up responsibilities interfere with outdoor adventure opportunities. But then again, he didn’t seem to mind, there was much to be done and I always find some sort of adventure in the kitchen.
The importance of holiday traditions is very apparent in my profession. As a kindergarten teacher, I spend my days surrounded by that particular joy and magic that only occurs in childhood. For the wee ones, whose little minds have yet to grasp the concept of time, the progression of a year is gauged by the succession of holiday traditions. Turning a page of the calendar does not signify the beginning of another month, a seasonal transition or another phase of this year’s journey around the sun. Turning a page of the calendar means it’s time to move on to the next phase of festivities. These days, it seems the first of December marks the beginning of Christmas, a month-long holiday that has less to do with the winter solstice or the birth of Christ and more to do with candy, crafts and extravagance. As I grow older (a little less young, I mean to say), I find the spirit of the season waning as, one-by-one, I discard my own favorite holiday tasks and traditions all in the name of “simplifying”. What is a tradition anyway? This thing you do to mark an occasion, this custom passed down through generations, this habitual ritual in which you engage simply because your calendar page proclaims the time has come…and so it must be done?
Well, after spending the winter months wondering if Winter would actually be making an appearance at all, Mother Nature decided to celebrate the first day of March with a nice little snowfall. My hubby and I headed into the hills for a fun hiking day and a little snow play this last weekend. Now, with the second day of March being the birthday of beloved children’s author, Theodor Seuss Geisel, I could not help but stash in my pack a silly Seuss hat, hoping to capture a photo or two to illustrate some of my favorite quotes in celebration of the occasion.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!”
We’ve been having some beautiful spring-like weather here in the desert, with unusually warm temperatures, an abundance of sunshine, blooming trees and busy bees all over the place. Mama Nature has decided to skip right over winter and head straight on into spring, it seems. The desert floor is a lush carpet of green and wildflowers and I am feeling the pull outdoors. I want to be out and about, climbing rocks, hunting flowers, chasing rainbows…I want to go play! Needless to say, I have not been enjoying the confines of my kitchen these days and I am certainly not in the mood for warming winter meals. I have to remind myself that it is still February, hence the over-abundance of hearty winter roots and greens. And since I choose to eat from the earth and cook with the seasons, and technically, it is still winter, I am stuck with this surplus of hearty seasonal bounty. Though Nature’s confusion has thrown me for a loop, I think it’s time to get creative, lighten things up and seek a little color in my dreary winter food palate.
My friends often say to me, with that subtle look of envy: Oh, you do live an adventurous life! I wish I…sigh… Well, I suppose it’s true, I do. But truth be told, I am not what you would call an adventurous girl. I hate rough roads, I am afraid of heights and sometimes I’m scared of the dark. I am timid, shy and I often cry when stuck in uncomfortable situations. But for me, the secret for living an adventurous life lies in the exploration, the delightful discoveries and the excitement of the unexpected. The possibilities for adventure are endless and not always difficult to pursue. Sometimes it is a simple walk in the woods, a leisurely drive or a quiet evening stroll. Whether it is a well-traveled highway or an unexplored byway, choose the road that calls to you…adventure awaits.
Day after day, we force our minds and bodies into that workday rhythm. We continually watch the clock as the hour hand dictates our every move. Rise, shower, pack the lunch. Drive, arrive, punch the clock. Dinner, dishes, set the alarm. And so it goes. Tick, tock, task. Tick, tock, task. If we’re lucky, the rhythm becomes an enjoyable one. Even so, we undoubtedly all look forward to those moments when the ticking ceases and nature is allowed to set the rhythm. In those moments, that jarring jolt of the alarm is silenced as we are coaxed into consciousness by the soft whispering light of the rising sun.