In the never ending trials of self improvement.
Endless striving for growth.
To be present to every moment.
We grapple with how. What do we need to do?
In an avalanche of responsibilities and to dos. I take time out. It is forced and unwelcome.
I stand with my back to the wind and suck in the
cold mountain air
hands clamped firmly in my armpits
kicking my shoes against rock
working the snow off so that it won’t
melt, soak into my socks, and freezing my toes.
My thoughts drift to the hot pink gloves hanging in the cabin like store at the bottom of the slope.
Pondering the value of the purchase. Calculating the time left on my kid’s endurance scale.
I cast my gaze over to her as she squeals and scrambles over the snow.
She fixes me with a smirk, “oh…pfffffst…snow angel!!!!” and
flops carelessly to the ground as though cushions waited to cradle her.
She rolls and swirls on the frosty ground oblivious to the snow beginning to cake on her jacket, gloves, and scarf.
She doesn’t grapple or strive. She is in a state of pure joy.
As I scan for him, I spot a half built igloo
A hunched blue blob, laboring, a production of snow balls, packed in like bricks, pounding them into place.
Focus, dedication, purpose.
I claim the opportunity presented and drift down the hill, crunching towards the warmth of the store.
Outside, through the window,
tossed glitter into sunlight, whipped up and swirling,
the weather begins the change.
As I emerge with hot food and coffee, I encounter the neighbour and children trudging towards me
hysterical tears for frozen fingers and toes, she leads the charge.
Bewilderment at the betrayal of ecstasy by the elements so delighted in.
Chicken wire tracks on slippery boardwalks.
Suddenly he stops as though glued to the planks.
He grunts and whines slightly as I struggle to identify the cause of his distress.
The neighbour explains his earlier instruction, to stick to the wire, so as not to slip.
There is a gap, 2 feet of bare boards. A short stretch of no mans land between the wire pathways.
It seems the paths and the rules we are given to keep us safe are the same that prevent us from moving forward,
trapped by our own adherence.
We gather in the sun to refuel and absorb the warmth, hot chocolate and giggles.
Once at the car, shoes and socks are stripped from icy toes.
Dry clothes, slippers, and a blanket over knees. Snacks to consume on the trip home.
I have created a warm nest for my babies and close the door.
As we trail down the mountain, winding, zig-zagging down the steep inclines,
I reflect quietly
sacrificing for experiences
dedication of time stolen from other priorities
commitment to creating a moment for them despite my own preferences and definitions of enjoyment.
Why do we deprive ourselves of the same? Why do we neglect our inner child and then ponder our struggle to simply be?
She didn’t need to contemplate her revelry. He didn’t question if his actions were right. They lived in the experience,
purity of interaction
Fuel the child with experience without expectation and watch as they are
absorbed into the moment.
I have forgotten that little girl. She has
burdened by responsibilities and expectations, the what and the how, the detail.
As heads nod and eyes close behind me
lists of dreams
a core of connectivity, activity to draw her out, a prescription of living to the fullest.
Nothing extravagant or outrageous, a simple list to reconnect with purpose and passion.
A list to feed my inner child.