It may be -30C during the day and we may only be getting five hours of sunlight but it is definitely worth all the effort of getting dressed in layers and layers of wool and down and fleece and going outside into the woods, into the mountains. The recent snowfall made wildlife tracks easier to read, easy to follow.
Some nights we scramble up hillsides in search of northern lights. One evening, instead of the aurora we watched an orange moon set behind the mountains. Once sleepiness settled in we hiked home through the spruce forest, headlamps casting eerie shadows. The yellow eyes of a lynx reflected back at us and moved silently around us to sat hidden in the thickets, watching us. The lynx was so capable of slinking around us silently and perfectly capable of watching us stare into the darkness.
With these long nights trail runs cure my cabin fever. My legs spin over the icy trails and snowshoe hares scatter from my path and any self-doubt that might be gnawing at me ebbs. My mind quiets as it zeros in on my breathing. By the time I make it home, I’m soaring on endorphins and the sun is rising.
Our wanderings in the woods and hillsides have been less than “epic” this winter but sometimes that is what the mind needs most, calmness and quiet, time for reflection.