Today, I am thankful for a winter hike.
All is right for a winter hike.
Not a long, strenuous trek, mind you.
Despite clear blue skies and bright sun,
Cold temperatures and chilly breezes
Still prevail outdoors.
Plus, the days, though slightly longer now,
Still turn to shadow early in the foothills.
So, I embark on a regular hike,
One that requires sturdy boots
And a backpack
And extra clothing, just in case.
I park my ordinary suburban life
At the trailhead
And step into the wilderness,
Ready to navigate the mountainous territory
Along a steep snow and icepacked trail
Shaded by tall firs and fluffy pines.
Nothing too strenuous this afternoon
Since I only have a few hours.
Just a casual hike that will lead me
To quiet places,
Where I can shake off the dust
Of cabin fever,
Clear my lungs of
Stale, indoor air,
And hear my heart beat
One more time.
For this blessing, I am grateful.