We left the house early to beat the heat for our hike during the eleventh week after the vernal equinox.The heat stayed at bay, for the most part, but the bugs were out in force. If you look closely, you can see them hovering in the photo above, mostly against the trees to the right.
As we walked past the beaver pond listening for frogs, a bug flew right into my mouth and made me feel wistful for winter hikes.
I spent so much energy looking forward to spring even in the midst of our very mild winter, and I am excited for some of what comes with the warm weather. I love having my little garden started, and I’m excited that strawberry picking starts tomorrow (and that my kids are so excited about it, too). I’ve liked the crocuses and the tulips, the lilacs and the lupine, the violets and the irises, and I’ll like the black-eyed susans and the marigolds and the cosmos and the peonies when it’s time for them.
But I’m not a fan of the perpetual sweatiness, my glasses sliding down my nose, and the greasy feeling on my skin. I don’t like swatting bugs and finding ticks (although if ticks are around I suppose I’d rather know where they are than have them sneak up on me). And although I hate to admit it, the explosion of plant life along the trail feels claustrophobic.
There’s always something to complain about.
Luckily my kids are still having a blast with our hikes. Just like in winter, they whine about the temperature at first, but they soon forget their discomfort in the new discoveries to be made each week. Not only do they live in the moment better than I do, they don’t seem to fight things as much, maybe because they’ve not gotten into the habit of thinking they can control things. They might feel physically uncomfortable in the cold or the heat or the damp, but they don’t feel it as a personal affront as I tend to.
They see the river nearly dried up and filled with plants, and they marvel. They feel anxious about it, too, especially my daughter who said over and over during our hike that she wishes we’d get more rain, but that’s mixed with wonder at least in equal parts.
“Look, Mom! I’m walking in the river!” the children giggle.
They have such faith that everything will be okay, no matter what happens. I’m grateful that their dad and I have been able to give them that gift. Maybe eventually I can learn to accept the same gift myself.