I need to get out and about, it clears my head and gets me moving. It lets me breathe.
In the mountains the weather can change rapidly, you start out in good weather and an hour later you can be enveloped in cloud left wondering which way is down. You need to be wrapped up and ready.
I have to be prepared to go out and walk in any weather, not just the bright sunshine blue sky days.
We’re expecting temperatures as low as -20 this week, and that doesn’t factor in the wind chill. My mind doesn’t compute that.
Different days bring different walks, and different walks bring different sights and sensations. It’s never the same.
Today’s’ walk a modest 3 miles it’s a lively -5 and it’s gouky out there. The visibility is appalling, the light levels are flat. And there is deep snow. It makes walking a bit more challenging. But its gorgeous snow.
The snow is falling straight, there is no wind today, but my mind is swirling around. Whirring and whizzing. There’s a stillness out there in the woods today that only snow can bring.
Will there be any photos from today? Or should I use those I took at the weekend? That’s it you are warming up now, this IceBreaker top is aptly named.
Walking makes me stop and pause, listen and look, ponder and consider, and wonder. I get glimpses of the path ahead, twisting and turning.
It’s quiet out here today. I’m the first person up the track this morning. My own private world. The birds are quiet, they are sensibly tucked up in the trees, sheltering.
Another session at the Physio tomorrow. Will it hurt as much as Monday? Will the news be better this time? I’ve rested it more so maybe, just maybe.
My mind rattles on. I can barely see the track in front of me. The snow is deeper in parts, 5 inches probably more. I have to concentrate on where I’m going. Where my feet are planted. But it’s snowing so I have my hood up and my face pointed down to look where I’m walking. Could I call it walking? Snow shuffling seems more apt.
Come on, stop, look around, look up.
Focus on the here and now. This is what you can do right now. This is where you are at right now. You are not on crutches. This isn’t permanent. There are positives. It’s beautiful out here, even in the gouk.
There’s uphill and downdales to negotiate. I wonder what I’ll write about today, there’s the walks I’m doing or maybe another recipe. What will the title be? Does that matter right now. You know the answer. Come on, focus.
There’s not a soul to be seen so far. No, I spoke too soon, a group of ski tourers pass me by on a lower trail. Ooooph that must take real energy! I’ll just stop here and catch my breath.
But here I am, an arm in a sling, a walking pole in my hand, carefully does it girl. Watch where you are going. No rush.
But what about the post the other day about buying supermarket carrots. You sounded like a food snob! I know that’s not what you meant. Remember you are lucky to be able to grow your own food to know what great food tastes like. You are lucky. You are here in the mountains.
The trees are heavy with snow today. Sometimes there are crystals to gaze at. They look like fury spiky white caterpillars.
I can hear a stream now, I can barely see it for the snow. Ha! a picnic table, no chance of me sitting and admiring the view today, it’s all murky out there.
There’s that post about potatoes that you need to finish let alone the ordering to do. I need to find the words. Well if you don’t start it you never will.
I look back, and only my tracks are visible. The colours are white, grey whites, dark greens of the pines, barks of silver birch shine out.
Hmm, going home next week for a visit, what will I do on the allotment? Well, there’s no shifting that pile of compost one-handed is there! Stop. Focus on the now, deal with that when you get home.
What’s this? A runner? Out here, in this? I suddenly feel very sane. The snow kicks up around my boots, it’s soft to the touch. The skiers will be whooping and whizzing! But I bet they don’t have the place to themselves like I do.
Nearing the village now, you can hear a few voices. I can here a snowblower. It sounds like a lawnmower except it’s not summer and there’s no grass being mowed, just piles and piles of snow to shift.
My secret weapons have done me proud again. My Crampons. They have made it possible for me to go walking. I have some grip in the snow and ice. Maybe not on the world. But then that might be expecting a bit much for a pair of crampons!
Time to go home, shower and change. a cup of tea and maybe a bite to eat. The arm is sore, but maybe that’s because it’s healing. And sometimes you feel that too.
Another day tomorrow. Maybe another walk. Maybe a clear sky. Maybe more snow. I know it will be cold they are predicting at least -8. I know whatever the weather the mountains and woods are stunning.
And the self-portrait?