Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Native Soil

Took a walk in the woods today, and I felt very much at home. It's like the cold wind and the smell of dry leaves calls to distant memories buried deep within me, years of growing up with this kind of nature and weather. Even now as I look out the window and see black trees against a fading sunset (and it's only 5:02 p.m.) it feels so familiar. It's like finding something I lost a long time ago.

For the kids, it's all brand new. Like discovering what happens when you play in icy water with your mittens on. Despite our warnings, Ethan kept crawling back to the stream any chance he got to break apart the ice crystals and send them swirling through the water. He also kept picking up wet logs so he could carry them to the next part of the stream and use them as battering rams. Of course this made his mittens, boots, pants and jacket damp. We weren't too strict about it because it was relatively warm today, but part of me realized how much you learn as a kid growing up in Minnesota about the dangers of winter. This is knowledge our children of course completely lack.

They also continue to display an obliviousness to the cold. Ethan was out playing ball in his socks today. They constantly run outside without their coats. We keep bringing them back in, instructing them to put more on, but they insist they aren't cold. In fact, they've spent the better part of this day out doors - right now they are raking leaves and burning them in a bonfire. (Where there is fire, there is Ethan).

I have tried my hand, or rather, my feet, at running in temps other than 80 degrees for the first time. Well, the first time I can remember. It's much easier, though I find that I have dry wheezing when I'm done because I'm used to air that is filled with 80% humidity. I'm thinking of running with a medical mask on my face to hold in the moisture.

The fire is raging outside, so I think I'll go join them and make sure no one gets too close. Where fire is, there Ethan is, and he's not quite as fire safe as we'd like him to be yet.

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