The morning had started off lazy and cold. The cloud cover blanket kept Kristen, Alejandro, Felix in bed sound asleep until almost ten. Tomás and I rose around 7. Anya the cat had woken me, asking for breakfast, and I had things to read, pages to write, coffee to brew, breakfast to cook.
Once everyone was up and had eaten, had gotten over the late hour, and the fact that we weren’t going to hike a HiZgh Peak — too wet, too muddy — we decided to hike a pond, a mile and a half each way, on the east side of Schroon Lake.
So, after lunch, we boarded the Odyssey and drove to the trail head.
The first few steps were filled with questions: Would it start raining? How long would it take to get here? Alejandro lead us, I followed. Tomás behind me. Felix and Kristen bringing up the rear.
The trail followed a small stream under a dark tree cover, under an even darker grey sky. With each step, my senses became more receptive we — The moss on the rocks looked greener, the fallen leafs oranges and growns glowed brighter.
Soon I reached a swampy clearing, a frequent feature of the Adirondack hikes, a large treeless area circled by trees that couldn’t survive in the wet, too wet.
A few more minutes and we reached the lake where we sat and kept shushing each other to listen, focus on the stillness. A small insect crawled on the surface of the water. A bird sang and flew over a distant rock far in the water.
How could we have chosen to stay indoors when our bodies needed the exercise and our minds needed to disconnect from the day? Needed to reconnect with nature?
The few minutes of stillness, of connecting with our joyous surroundings gave us a feeling that would refresh and recharge us for the rest of the day. I felt blessed to have a few minutes away, to share the walk with my family, and to savor those moments.
The view at the end of the trail was terrific: Spectacle Lake reflecting the dark grey cloud-filled sky, the surrounding dense green forest interrupted by small explosions of fiery reds, burning oranges, and scorching yellows – the first hints of foliage, a reminder of fall’s arrival.
That was the day’s destination. Late afternoon.
[Found these observations on two 3x5s in Let My People Go Surfing. Probably wrote those early Fall 2016.]