Although today at 34 degrees F — roughly 1 degree Celsius — my walk to the woods didn’t feel like it. I had even considered not going for that walk, after looking at the temperature and seeing it was nowhere near yesterday’s. Saturday was fairly warm, and the continuous see-sawing of temps back and forth — between warm and not-warm — gets to be a little demoralizing. The last thing I needed was to walk out today and have my flagging spirits trampled yet again. It’s Sunday, after all, which means that another full week is ahead of me… and the idea of not having the free space to just BE and do things at my own pace, in just a matter of hours… well, that on top of cold weather felt like a little much.
But I went out anyway. Bit the bullet, pulled on the gloves, and walked out the road to the trail head. I wasn’t sure I was going to hike back into the forest, then decided on a whim to walk in to the beaver pond, make the circuit around it, and come back out — all in time to get home to mix up a Sunday brunch of chicken-apple sausages and scrambled eggs for our house guests.
March in New England is an interesting thing this year. It can’t seem to make up its mind, and it showed on the trail. The path was either a frozen solid sheet of ice, or it was a lacey mix of half-melted ice and snow, or it was clear of all cover except for last year’s leaves. I hip-hopped from one patch of leaves to the next, gingerly skirting the icy spots, and crunching through melting snow that sometimes spilled in over the tops of my hiking shoes and melted in little pockets of cold dampness around my ankles.
I hate those little pockets of cold dampness around my ankles.
So, I tried my best to keep to the leafier parts of the trail… and watch my step, because the going was treacherously slippery in places, and even though I do have ICE contact information on my cell phone (which was with me), I’d just as soon not test out that capability with the Bolton EMTs.
Signs of spring were indefinite, I have to say. The teaberry plants are always green, so seeing them sticking up through the snow seemed like a hollow announcement of nothing much. The ground was soft and spongy in places, as the earth readies for mud season, but there was still plenty of ice and snow; for all anyone could tell, it might just as well have been a warm spell in February. I did see a congress of about 10 robins in someone’s yard, but as soon as they all flew away, everything looked the same as it had two months ago. There is definitely less snow on the ground, these days. But they’re calling for more on Tuesday/Wednesday, so it’s cold comfort to gaze longingly at the glistening muck under that noncommittal gray sky.
Spring will get here when it gets here. But the thought occurred to me that I may in fact never be warm again. In my entire life.
My early spring bleakness notwithstanding, it was a good walk. I ate my daily apple while I ambled, and I pitched the core into the woods where some lucky squirrel or deer would find it. All the concentrated focus on the trickier parts of the trail warmed me up, and I emerged from the tree cover reminded — yet again — how much can change about your attitude, if you just make a start at things.
Before I’d left the house, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to go out.
As I emerged from the woods, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back.
But our house guests were waiting, and I was getting hungry. There was sausage to cook, mushrooms and onions to sautee… and a mess o’ eggs with another cup of coffee would really hit the spot. And it did.
Spring will get here when it gets here. In the meantime, I’ve got more than enough to keep me busy.