Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Zippin' with WW

Minus the rows of well-constructed homes, we could have lived a long time ago. Snow seems so ageless, so timeless, spaceless. We took a path, like Robert Frost, in some snowy woods in a neighborhood small park, and there was an unbounded creek lying in wait for the discoverer. We walked on the bank and heard the dark water trickling, defying the developments up the hill. It was beautiful and like home when, as a girl, I used to take my long walks in winter's face to find amazing beauty, even much moreso than in Spring. I don't have the right words to describe the stillness and the beauty that I still "recollect in tranquility" as Wordsworth says. But, I know that the experiences of nature have stayed with me for a long time. There's something strong and peaceful and pure about their intermittent reminders too when I stumble into a similar setting. It's like the ageless, timeless, spaceless aspects of creation hits me again. Strong hints of the eternal abound in the natural world, and they want to be seen and known. I feel like they're always calling me to look at them, and if I don't, I lose out.

Anyway, Cody and I were supposed to be looking for a good downward slope; I pulled our orange plastic sled, at times with him in it, and we were dressed for zero degrees and speed. But, the peace in the woods just took us over for a while. Most lovely and accessible if only we would leave our heat-induced pleasant-enough homes more. We found a small slope in the woods and zigged and zagged perilously between trees, until we decided to drive to the big hill at a larger recreational park. The hill waited, pure and unmarked (because other kids were in school), which complimented Cody's need for speed. He pulled the sled up to the highest point, and then screamed "aaaaaacccchhhh" all the way down with a gigantic smile. We raced and tried to break each other's sled tread records. I felt young and athletic when I ran back up the hill to do it again.

Cody was at his bravest; last year, he was anxious and cried on the way up and the way down. However, today it all felt good. The water on the lake below us sparkled, the air reddened our cheeks, the freedom we felt heightened our gratitude; it was an exceptional day of learning, I think. Why do our schools institutionalize so much? All of those kids should have been out with us on that slope, testing their limits, noticing the contrasting colors of the sky, the ground, the water -- zipping downward with a feeling of freedom. It's freedom that causes us to learn more. Well, I'm getting prosaic again, and I apologize for that; it's just ... I wish that you could have been there instead of being contained. I was very fortunate that I stepped into my shoes and went outside to follow my boy's call.

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