Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

Thankfully, the kids have semi-regular early release days.  All too often I don't take advantage of the extra hours to our afternoon.  However, for the past two early releases, I have been trying to make the most of our time.  This week we spent the afternoon hiking on a familiar trail near my parents' house.  

There is an abandoned coal mine just off the trail.  Along the trail you can see lots coal - small pea size "gravel", small chunks, and in the hill side you can even see large pieces of coal.  I loved how the roots of a tree grew over this large piece.

October is definitely over in this area of Virginia.  Most of the trees have lost all their leaves and I'm hoping that the frosty mornings are here to stay.  

Jumping for joy over long afternoons together.  Can every day be an early release day?  Please?

My kids have never liked to move quickly.  Walking and hiking with them when they were little was painfully slow.  Now that they are older, overall hikes move much quicker, but hiking can still be slow moving.  I try so hard to be mindful of how important it is for them to have the time to take in the details of the world.  Our hike was by no means a long one in mileage, but we were out in the woods for about three hours.  We went way off the beaten path to explore and we took the long way to the abandoned mine.  I think they spent 45 minutes playing on and around this makeshift bridge.  They cleared a lot of leaves that had collected in the area and played with the simple innocence of childhood.  I have to bite my tongue in moments like this - I'm always a bit eager to move on to next thing.  Continually, my children remind me life is not lived in the results.  Life is lived in the process.  Slow down.  Don't rush.  Just be.