One of Eric and I’s favorite things has always been hiking. Anywhere we can take the dogs, be with them in nature, go exploring, is good. We love the exercise, the joy of the movement. We love the solitude and quiet, as well as the time together. We have long talks that remember where we’ve been, and consider where we want to go. We catch up and dream and plan and forgive and give thanks. There is effort, but there is also relaxation.
In the winter, I don’t go that much, but Eric does–gears up in gaters and gloves and spiked shoes, grabs the dogs and goes. I stay home, sleep in and write. But I have really been missing it, and the weather has been so great, so today we went to Lory State Park and hiked together (a trail we first hiked together almost 20 years ago), getting there just as the sun rose.
This hike reminded me of Dexter’s awesome trail and scout skills. He’s the perfect guide. He’s kept Eric from getting lost many times, when the trail is hard to see or covered in snow. He always lets you know when someone is coming or when there’s a choice to be made about which way to go. He’ll sometimes pause and look back, maybe even come back to touch everyone in the pack with his nose, look them in the eye, making sure everyone is doing okay. He’s been a natural at this, starting from the time he was a puppy, and we almost always let him lead.
We found treasures and saw beauty today.
My favorite part of lots of trails, especially anything with “gulch” or “ravine” or “canyon” in the name, is the sweet spot: that moment when, after miles and hours of steep trail, you come out at the top into this space, sometimes a meadow, but always beautiful.
In Northern Colorado, there are these pine trees that smell like caramel, when the weather is warm and you are hungry, it can make you crazy, make you want to eat the bark.
Dear reader, kind and gentle ones, with my whole heart I wish and hope that on this day of rest you are reminded of all the things about your life that you love, those large and small, near and far. I hope you fall in love, all over again, with who you are, where you are, and what and who is there with you. I wish that your heart is so full today that it feels like it’s going to break..