We, my family and I, spent the first part of the week walking down seemingly forgotten trails in the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. In mid January the water oak leaves that paved most of the winding routes felt undisturbed as they crunched beneath our feet and those of our 17-month-old son.
We did this for about an hour for three days — retreating into the woods to feel our muscles flex, laugh at the dog and baby and marvel at the sun. It is not an opportunity that typically comes along in winter so we let the weather rule us, lure us like a magnet onto our feet and sometimes into the cold.
There are at least 10 things we could have done and should have done, but this, like a prayer, felt as natural and essential as bathing or kissing a child goodnight.
Winter is beautiful in her own hard-earned way, but as far as seasons she is usually upstaged by spring. But winter dazzles quietly, swaying her bare branches against afternoon sun, guarding a mighty river that they say sings. After all, aren’t the most pleasant people those who at least feign ignorance of their good looks?