It's Saturday. At last a day to enjoy. For years I've wanted to go snowshoeing on the golf course near my home. For many reasons, it didn't happen. We didn't always have enough snow or other activities took precedence. Today, there was snow and time.
I went into the great wilderness of the golf course. I have never played golf and always looked at the vast green expanses as a terrible scar on the land. Today, though, it was a beautiful span of snow and a trees.
My first goal was to go down to the river. I stood for a long time. There was about 20 feet of ice along the bank and broken ice further out. It's not a fast river, but it was moving. The ice was changing, melting and moving. You could hear it. That was very cool.
The snow told me stories I didn't expect.
I could see where leaves danced across it. Where trees discarded snow from their branches. The tracks of small rodents, travelling bravely across the open areas.
I saw where a squirrel hunted for buried acorns, it had darted back and forth, digging into the snow. The story was stitched beautifully in the snow.
I trekked further and saw paths left by larger animals. Possibly coyotes, fisher cats, bobcats or foxes. Following one trail I arrived on the scene of a scuffle. It looked like a squirrel was chased and caught. The prints told the story of struggle, flight, fight, loss and triumph. There was small patch of discolored snow which was probably the end of the story for the squirrel.
Another squirrel was lost to a hawk. The snow showed where the hawk landed and struggled with the squirrel. There was a space with blood and bits, as well as tufts of squirrel tail fur.
Sobered by the reality of life in the wild and hoping nothing big and hungry was watching me, I continued up to the highway. Walking to the highway was more about having a destination than seeing the road. As I touched the fence that bounds the golf course to complete the moment I stepped backwards and fell in the snow. Be careful backing up in snowshoes.
At this point I had walked two miles. I don't know how long I had been walking, but I was tired and hungry. East of the golf course is a McDonald's, so I plodded along in the general direction. You can't see the restaurant from the golf course. I went through some woods and eventually came upon a stream. Fortunately it was frozen and covered with snow. When I walked across, I didn't go through the ice.
I took a break at McDonald's, then continued my adventure, retracing my steps through the woods and back to the golf course.
By now I was tired so I aimed in the most direct route back to the house. Just before I returned to the neighbohood I realized I didn't want the outing to end. I was really tired, I'd had a great walk, I was out for about three hours and four miles.
The time spent exploring really cleansed my soul.
When I got home I took a hot shower and a wonderful nap.
Life is good!
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