Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I love that poem by Robert Frost. Every time I read it I can hear the bells ringing from the shake of the horse’s harness. I can feel that deep cold that comes when the sun goes down and chills you to the bone. And I can feel that magical silence that comes over the land when it’s covered with snow. I love snow. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived through wintry days; shoveling sidewalks; building snowmen and snow tunnels in the yard; trudging over snow filled sidewalks on the way to school; and best of all snow days !
Yesterday, we had our own kind of snow day. We headed up to Mount Baker to try out our snowshoes. We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky, bright sunshine to warm us , skies so blue they almost hurt your eyes and snow glistening like thousands of diamonds had fallen to earth from the sky.
Driving up the mountain was amazing. The mountains were absolutely breathtaking. The trees in the woods were overloaded with snow and bending with the weight. As I looked around enjoying the view I had such a warm feeling settle into my heart and soul. Have you ever had that feeling of seeing something and knowing that a memory was associated with what you were seeing,but you couldn’t remember the actual memory ? But you could remember the feeling that was present when you first had that experience-it was just magical. I didn’t even try to go back in time to figure out what exact memory was associated with what I was feeling-I went with the feeling and it was somehow comforting and reassuring to know I held something in my heart that brought out such a special feeling. It’s hard to explain, but so extraordinary to experience and I’m so grateful to have had those moments.
As we climbed the mountain, the temperature continued to drop. When we left our home on Whidbey Island it was 26F. By the time we made it to our destination at Heather Meadows it was 10F. Thank goodness technology has had a huge impact on clothing. Remember when you were little and had to dress to go and play in the snow ? You looked like the Michelin Man in a snow suit with a scarf wrapped around your face and mittens that made your hands look 3 times larger than Mickey Mouse’s hands. Layers today are much lighter and warmer, with 3 layers of long sleeve shirts and 2 layers of pants and a fleece jacket I was nice and toasty and didn’t feel like the Michelin Man !
When we were taking the loop road off of the highway to get to Heather Meadows we came around the bend and my breath was taken away. I tried to get Jim to stop, he had no idea what was going on . When we looped back around I showed him what I had spotted-our own little Mount Baker Angel-blessing our day and trip. There’s magic out there, you just have to look for it.
We had a perfect day. Our first time out with our snowshoes was a success. And the day made us realize we need to do this more often now that we aren’t on the road. Why wait for the trip to Alaska for an adventure ? We live in the most amazing place and there are adventures right out our front door.
The sun was disappearing from our trail so we decided it was time to head down off the mountain and point towards home. I’m glad we left while it was still light, we could enjoy the view all over again heading down the mountain.
Good bye beautiful Cascades, we will be back soon ….. And to my friends, I wish you magical moments wherever you may be. Happy Trails and safe travels.