Need Hope? Take a Walk

Something amazing happened yesterday. I didn’t feel that cloud that has been hanging over me for the last year. It was there, a little, in the morning but by the afternoon it was gone. I’ve got a few ideas about why this happened, and I’ll get into that later this week, but for now I want to focus on the healing nature of the thaw we’re experiencing.

Yesterday was heavy sweater and hat weather, and after a long commute home (working on Sunday, yikes!) I bundled up the kidlets who were all too happy for another opportunity to abandon chores and enjoy their rip sticks. We parents took the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely stroll down our secluded road, breathing in the fresh country air and I was amazed at how this brief, simple departure from our typical Sunday routine filled me with wonder and hope.


A mouse house, like the ones we found in the melting snow


Here’s a little list of some of the early spring wonder I witnessed through the eyes of my children, particularly our toddler who is two and a half and in love with everything:

Puddles for jumping and splashing in

Mud for squishing under rubber-booted feet

Slushy, crunchy snow

Bubbly streams

Red-winged black birds who have returned

Mouse houses! We discovered these perfect little spheres of dried grass revealed by the melted snow and deduced that they must be little houses woven together by the mice. They were little wonders of architecture

Lambs at the farm next door. We couldn’t see them because the dirt road is currently a small river, but we could hear them bleating away in the barn

The squishy wonder of our melted snow saturated lawn

The endless joy of throwing stones into puddles

Silly walking competitions

The moist, healing smell of fresh spring air

The healthy dinner time appetite and deep, blissful sleep after time outside

If you’ve had the winter blues, treat yourself to a walk outside, in whatever green space you can find. Try to take it all in through the eyes of a child, and keep open to any discoveries that await you. Even in the most sprawling urban centers, change is happening and we can look forward to the return of warmth. What are the signs of spring in your neck of the world?


Rain or Shine

Noah and I on a practice hike.

Noah and I on a practice hike.

Or, How to Guarantee an Interesting Tuesday

It’s 7:30 am and there’s a light gray cast to the day. Our POP is currently 50%, moving to 30% at 10:00 am when we are scheduled to begin our first hike with our summer hiking club. While you are reading this, hopefully sipping coffee (which reminds me, I must take some coffee with us!) I will be trekking with Hannu, Aylu and the Noodle. We’ll either be going along swimmingly, or we’ll be quite soggy. Either way, we’re sure to have an interesting couple of hours.

I’ve been practicing with my baby-carrying backpack, which is extraordinarily comfortable. It was purchased way back when Hannah was a babe made by Macpac, a New Zealand company. Nekky had to find a local importer back then, but now you can buy direct from their website, pretty much anywhere in the world.  I suspect out of all of our kids that Noodle will get the most use out of the carrier. I love hiking, and this pack is a dream, especially with my scoliosis – it doesn’t bother me a bit. Of course, around here my walks are 40 minutes at max, and today we’ll be out for two hours, if the girls can last that long. With all of their weekly ravine walks at their former school, I think they are likely to out pace me!

I think we’ll need to start with some yoga at home because I’m feeling really stiff this morning. They should be able to manage some sun salutations, and their new room has enough floor space for all three of us to easily enjoy some poses. That and a good breakfast should give us what we need to get a good start to our adventure.

Here’s what I’ve packed:

Two water bottles

Three granola bars

Two packs of baby rice cookies

A banana

*A thermos of coffee (MUST remember this!)

Rain coats and pants for the girls

Rain boots for the girls

Rain jacket and boots for me (alas, no pants, must locate a second-hand pair)

Rain jacket and pants for Noodle (what am I going to put on his feet??)

Natural insect repellent lotion (I’m frankly unsure that this works)

Kibio natural sunscreen (this is an excellent product, I can’t say enough about the stuff!)

Wet wipes

A spare diaper (it occurred to me that the only realistic place to change Noodle will be somewhere after the hike. I think I’ll coat him in diaper rash cream, just in case)

If I’ve forgotten anything, I guess we’ll have to deal. I’m going to encourage the girls to each search for one natural treasure for our nature table, and they will both work on a journal entry when we get home. I must dash off and get ready for the day! I will post some iPhone photos later on my Facebook page. I hope we don’t get those mighty Toronto rains, and I hope nobody needs to poop in the woods!