When our anniversary came around, Joe asked the children, “What do you guys want to do to celebrate? After all, what we’re really celebrating is the beginning of our family!” Unanimously, though it was January, they wanted a hike! Now, I kind of liked the idea of looking out over the ocean, but happily, Roque Bluffs State Park offers the opportunity to do both!
So, we began beach-side, all winter-wind and icy bay and crisp sunshine…
…splashing about in well-insulated gear!
The kids went to work right away, turning over stones and uncovering assorted treasures…
…while I sipped coffee and appreciated all the little beauties that, somehow, still grace a winter beach!
But we were not, particularly, here for the beach today…We were here for a hike! And so we crossed the street to the woodland trails, which trace a loop around the peninsula.
Spencer and Vivi seem to be at the perfect age to be hiking buddies! They strike off in their own little world, chatting about what they see, sampling the snow from different plants along the path, looking for tracks or birds or anything that captures their young imaginations…
While Joe and Asher and I follow along behind, delighting in the scenery, and delighting in Spencer and Vivi!
It was a quiet day in the forest…We startled a couple of ruffed grouse, leaving us with only the briefest flash of a flurry of feathers, a drumbeat of wings, and a few precious chicken-scratches to admire. They are astonishingly well-camouflaged. Though we could see just where the pair flew off to, we couldn’t make out any trace of them, and as we slowly inched toward their resting place, we only succeeded in startling them further without glimpsing them at all!
The trails are very quiet and peaceful in the winter…snow dusting the forest floor…bare branches frozen in time…beaches frozen into sheets of glass as the tide retreats…and all under a low golden sun, whose warmth can still be seen, though it can hardly be felt.
The crunch of boots on the snow, the silly antics of kiddos stretching their legs, cold air in warm lungs…Winter hikes certainly have a beauty all their own!
This, I imagine, is one reason why God created seasons…We don’t have to have them…But when we do have them, we can take a moment to be amazed at the way that, even in the same place, God has many-and-varied methods to make things beautiful in their time!
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…(Ecclesiastes 3:11, KJV)