“Do I have frostbite?” Sasha’s jesty question makes me roll my eyes. Yeah right… His hands are red though and they should be freezing cold by now. We got here half an hour ago and he got busy building a snowman. Mittens got in the way and how could they not, all battered by snow, rock solid and uncomfortable after half the snowman was up.
As we were driving towards Lodgepole Lake earlier the back road turned white and inviting. “Can we stop, can we?” Wet gravel looked dark and shiny. After a few hundred meters snow won though and the gravel slid under all that white. Quiet. Fresh snow and the woods stare at us. We go uphill. And rightfully so and quite immediately slide downhill. We park at the side of the white road and jump in softness. Tracks this way and that, the boys are happy to have winter so close and so sudden. “Will it snow in town soon?” Maybe, maybe not. Weather is like that. I take photos of spikes and water droplets trapped in old spiderwebs and I’m grateful. For the whiteness of the quiet woods, for my boys whooping and for knowing that when we get cold enough we hop in the car and head home for warmth.
Bows and arrows, the quiet woods, there’s magic in it. Quiet no more, the woods laugh with my boys and the arrows whoosh their way through the dancing snowflakes before they plop on the ground. One arrow gets lost, playing hide-and-seek in the snow. Search this way and that, where did it go? Sasha invents a snow catapult and accidentally finds the lost arrow.
I find beautiful daisies, withered and patient, up to their waist in snow. One peeks from snow pressed by hurried feet. Stop, listen, how can we hear snowflakes? Cold and grey, the air has something comforting. “Mom, can we go? I’m freezing…” Tony’s cheeks are red his dark eyes smile with the anticipation of warming up in the car. Jump this way, search for deer tracks “They’re there, look, so many of them…” New snow settles in the small indentations left by the soft-eyed inhabitants of the woods.
A sign by the trail dated back in 2008 announces that there are leg hold traps in the woods. The magic crumbles, and the woods are loud and unsettled all of a sudden. It was 2008, I tell the boys, perhaps they’re banned now. They should be. There’s no merit in such actions, it’s cruel and senseless. Sad to think about it. How?
In the car we talk about salt lakes, living off the land and martens. I stop for more photos. Light is sieved through a layer of clouds thick and stubborn, like an old wet duvet. Oh well. Shy orange leaves adorned with tiny droplets smile at me anyway.
Kamloops is wetter here than ever before. Drops as big as beetles drum wildly on the windshield… Home. Hot dinner and hot chocolate, tired boys rolled in blankets… It rains, still, and I’m grateful. For rain, for warmth and for having seen so much. Today. Every day.