Tuesday, April 27, 2010

hunting for cones

Spencerville is a great place to find pine cones at this time of the year.
We filled 6 empty coffee bean sacks.
They make starting the fire much quicker than having to chop kindling beforehand and they're free! It's a great way to spend the afternoon as a young  family and there are usually so many other beautiful things to see along the way.

running rapaki

Autumnal blur. The poplar leaves are falling bright yellow and temporarily taking over where the sun left off.
I love the wind. I love to rug up and venture outside and trot like a goat up small mountains. I have a knack for making the people that love me the most, concerned for my well being and worry that I will get blown off said small mountains. But nothing will stop me within reason. 
Heavily pregnant and dressed like the Michelin man, I would stomp these slopes sometimes almost at 45 degree angles in hail and thunderstorms. The more extreme the weather, the more enticing it is. It is exhilarating to run around these parts when its sleeting or covered in snow. 
My thoughts are different when I run up here. Less trivial. I feel closer to some aspect of god, and to my own sense of fragility. I iron out the big stuff, love and loss. It is as if I have a 'google earth' perspective and I can clearly see which life's path to take at a particular cross road to get me closer to where I need to be. I write mental letters to the people I love and talk to people that are no longer alive. I grapple, I struggle, I laugh and cry. 
I keep my momentum as I move through the thoughts in my head and the scenery that echos the words unspoken.
It's hard to know what to say when someone asks "how was your run?". I talk of the weather and how many other people I saw (if any) and what condition my body was in. But so much remains private and indescribable.
The boys sometimes look at me slightly puzzled (yes I am wet and bedraggled, probably stinky and thirsty too). At 5 and 3 years old they might not be sure of the purpose these runs serve, but at least they have some sense of the hours lapsed and the location. They have started asking me when they can come too. And my heart melts because I think they get it. They may be small boys now, but one day they will be testosterone filled teenagers and really fit and able. And they know this and already they want in on the physicality, the mystery, the satisfaction. 

After I finished my run, I came across my old friend Dog.
Dog is partially blind and prone to being defensive.
He is often waiting like this, for the next thing to happen, whatever it may be.
He was lying out in the wind and rain when he could of taken shelter.
He was putting the world to right and ironing out a few things too, I think.

rainy days

The kids and I have been enjoying our rain walks of late. It doesn't matter if its bucketing down. My little ducklings and I will wander to see what can be found. 

I am trying to teach them to never begrudge the weather, no matter what its doing. Seldom is it the same for long enough that we get bored.

My Grandad Dave always said there was no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

He and Grandma (and my Great Granny Willis on several occasions) would take me tramping through the limestone clad bush of Charming Creek near Blackball, and thru Nelson Creek and the old Chinese gold mines near Westport on the West Coast. 

We walked on when it was "persisting down" and when it was as cold as a knife.

We would play a game of 'DONKEY' along the way, trying not to trip for the 6th time and reach the Y thus becoming the dreaded DONKEY. 

I remember the warmth of damp wool and the wet but always smiling faces, raindrops blowing in under the peaks of the hoods on our jackets. 

I still have my old wet weather gear. Until recently I could still smell my old dog on the sleeves of my raincoat. She died 20 years ago. That's what the senses do for the memories. And visa versa.
I recently bought new gumboots that come up high enough to almost meet the bottom of my raincoat, so I dont have to wear wet weather pants if its really hosing down. They are 'Hunters'. Scottish. Like my late Grandad.