Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Tag: snow

It Happened To Santa Too

Santa's steps?This time it wasn’t my fault. More so, I had no idea that it will happen today. There was no warning.

The day started with laziness in bed, snuggles and a big pile of pancakes. A pot of steaming strawberry sauce… memories of summer mornings drowned in fragrant berry smells and perky leaves holding sun and dew in green curled bellies.

Mouthfuls, butter melting, dripping sauce and sweetness, boys joking about all the inappropriate things again and again. This morning will hang in a corner of my soul, for no particular reason, but for the sweetness, the innocence and the roundness of it all.

The hills around have white dusted tops and countless thin trees, black and sleepy and fog-wrapped. Coffee on the porch, soft whispers to go with small sips. Find a place to take the boys. Where to, where to? A snowy lake? Is it snowy? Let’s try.

We drive the licked-clean road through snowy meadows and patches of trees… Do you hear the lone woodpecker? The sky is draping low and white. We park, boys roll out of the car in snow and make us promise snowball fights.

PathThin ice grows from the shores on the black surface of the lake. The path along the shores is padded with fresh-fallen snow and walking on it sounds like stepping on buried drums… muffled thick noises, branches droopy with snow, voices of boys running ahead and the distinct drum-roll of another lone woodpecker.

We walk around the lake, bumping chests halfway with the lake-dwelling dusk and making our way out of the woods as snow starts falling again.

A snowman perhaps? But the snow is powdery and stubborn, there’s no sticking. Snowman head and tummy crumble, we leave but two snow angels by the side of the road, taking our own with us. You need them when you drive through curtains of snowflakes, when you know you have to say thank you, again, for the simple beauty of new snow.

As snow-covered layers come off, Sasha’s big eyes turn and stare into mine.

Boy. Wonder“Mom, is Santa real?”

I stared back, I pondered, I listened to the voice that said “Be true” and pondered again. Will that take the magic away?

“What does your heart tell you?” This is how shy truth-teller me goes about it. I’m barely an inch tall.

“My heart says it’s not true.”

Truth-teller bows to child’s wisdom, eyelids drop in approval and then the promise snuggles in between our hearts “We can keep Santa with us though, magic and all…”

JoyYes we can. If new snow can sing to us every time, so will Santa and its wicked trail of make-believe. Truth and magic can live together if they’re done right.

So that’s how it all happened. Truth-teller honor.


Conquering Mountains With Buckets of Laughter

The boys and I head out to Cypress Mountain after a lazy morning with coconut pancakes, tea, and a good talk on the phone with my sister, always a treat on a weekend morning. The city is soaking wet but the mountains on the other shore are shrouded in clouds. As we drive towards them the fog clears up a bit and bits of sun trickle down on the window shield. We ascend, happy with the anticipation of a heavy snowfall and sideburns of dirty snow are growing on the sides of the road with every hairpin. We park, jump in snow pants, jackets and mitts and head up the trail. It’s not groomed, it’s the back country trail where people go hiking or snowshoeing. The risk of avalanche in the back country is moderate to high. Right. My prevailing thought is that I missed being in the snow. So much.

The boys jump in and out of mountains of snow. They laugh and tumble. And then they do it all over again. Mother polar bears must have the same satisfaction I had when they see their cubs all powdered up head to toe. The trees are heavy with snow, their branches tweak and the whole frosted forest speaks to us in the only language we’re interested of speaking at this hour. It snows heavily as we’re making the way up the trail. I stop to wait on the boys climbing through the trees with the intention of sledding down. An elderly gentleman on cross country skis stops to chat and tells me of another trail below the parking lot. He’s Norwegian, he says, over there most of the snow fun is free of charge. Like this one, he says. Tony sleds down fast and he parts with his sled just to see it disappear into a tree well. We contemplate coming back in the spring to get it but then we make a chain of arms and legs halfway down the well and retrieve the snow vehicle.

We follow the trail higher up until Sasha says his legs are tired. Fair enough. We stop for sandwiches and hot chocolate and then decide to turn back as it was getting dark and foggy. The boys sled down the trail shrieking and laughing. Sasha’s “awesooome” rolls down the path slower than the sled and it remains hanging in the snowy trees, the only thing we leave behind other than a deep snow angel Tony.

On our way back we stop by one of our favorite swimming pools. It’s almost empty. The lukewarm water feels nice and smooth. Outside it’s dark and the rain makes everything glittery wet. We get home late. I stop by the neighborhood grocery store to get some food for humans and Peruvian piglets. “It’s been a good day here in the store,” the clerk says as he hands me a bouquet of tulips. Yes it has. The trunk is full of wet clothes from a day of goodness, I know that much.

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