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Saturday morning. I think Little Guy got up on the wrong side of Hubby’s bed (he thought it would be cool if we all “camped out” in a different bed Friday night – so he slept in Hubby’s bed, Hubby slept in my bed, and I slept in Little Guy’s bed…) Little Guy was surly, snappy, and sometimes downright rude. Everything was frustrating him – from an Xbox game to homework (I’ll give you that homework can make anybody angry). Apparently even the sound of my voice was “annoying” to him. He crashed things, he growled, he snarled – and he was getting on my last nerve.

Meanwhile, Hubby was AWOL.  He had gone to meet a friend for coffee, but after 3 hours I was seriously beginning to wonder if that was an excuse to buy time while he ran away from home (which was the exact thing I was contemplating). I tried to play the piano to relax (because I was starting to snarl too), but the louder I played, the louder Little Guy hummed. When he started to stomp on a sticker that wouldn’t stick, I gave up, took 2 Tylenols, and went to bed!

As soon as Hubby came home (10 minutes later), I grabbed my camera and fled in a hail of gunfire left before one of us snapped (I was still in the running for first place). I was headed to a brave new world, a place I have never been, a place I drive by everyday – a community “green space” (which is currently buried in a ton of snow). The sun was shining; the air was crisp. The temperature was hovering just below -12C, which was reason enough to celebrate.  I went without a plan and just let my feet wander. I never crossed paths with another person…and most of those paths were not paths, but snowdrifts up to my knees. I trudged through anyway, using others’ footprints as much as possible. I found the Children’s Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Wedding Garden – everything is blanketed in white – right up to the seats of every bench I passed. Lured by the sound of music, I ploughed onward until I found the Water Park (which isn’t popular this time of year) and a skating rink (which was very popular). I snapped a lot of pictures, and most of them sucked failed to capture what I could see.

The sun made the snow sparkle, its surface rippling in frozen waves untouched by man. Little birds were darting in and out of the pine trees, singing joyful songs. The snow crunched. It felt good to take a deep breath of fresh air, and to feel the sting of the wind on my face. It was peaceful and refreshing.

I went home for hot chocolate and a handful of mini marshmallows. My winter walk gave me time to reflect on some other much-needed reminders:

  • In every season, whether related to the time of year or a time in life, the world is full of hidden treasures, if we just take the time to look.
  • Some blessings are worth a little inconvenience, a little discomfort, or a little effort.
  • Sometimes we need to take a moment to “disconnect” – from people and from things – and simply take a “deep breath”.
  • Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing.
  • Trying something new doesn’t always have to involve making a big decision or taking a huge leap of faith – it can be as simple as taking a walk.
  • It’s ok to take chances, to go new places, and to try new things. The end results may not be what we hoped for, but we are still richer for the experience through what we have learned in the journey.

And who knows, you may just make a new friend along the way…