When the Ground is Covered with Snow

It’s not so easy to pick up trash when there is a 1-foot layer of snow blanketing your town.

Luckily, on the Saturday just prior to the beginning of the snow, we were able to head out and pick up some stuff. I accidentally shattered a snapple bottle after I found it in the river, and felt so awful! Here I am trying to pick up trash and then my own human nature sends a glass bottle through the air only to connect with a metal structure. The collision glittered the grass with millions of little glass shards. All I can say is, I’m trying! Haha, anyways,  the bagels were delicious and the garbage was abound. It is truly amazing how quickly the same area of my town can be so easily repopulated by crap. But I suppose that just means the job is never finished.

Magnificent Pine Trail
We all stopped to just listen to the woods. (From top to bottom: Darren, Cierra, & Kiran)

The Burrsleeves Sorta-Kinda Book Club has been meeting this quarter and we’ve read through a few more chapters of Love Does by Bob Goff. In the context of the chapters we read, we discuss things that inspire us, make us laugh, or simply, we sit there and eat Sweetwater’s Donuts. This quarter I was hoping this Book Club would double as a time to plan for cool/whimsical things (or capers) or just plain fun things to do on Saturdays. Last week, it snowed here in Kalamazoo for six straight days, including Friday night into Saturday morning. Of course, the only thing you can do when it snows is go out into it! We threw together a small group of people and went for a snow hike at Kalamazoo College’s Arboretum. It was absolutely stunning. The lightweight snow coated almost every inch of every tree out there. The trails had about 8 inches of fresh powder, and every sign or post had a huge bulb of snow sitting on its head.

It really was stunning… can I say it one more time? — Stunning. At one point (which you can see in the two pictures), we were at the Magnificent Pine Trail and we all stopped to just listen. By silencing ourselves, I realized just how loud we can be—big loud humans clomping around and squealing with joy about the snow. There was a single bird chirping way up in one of those trees. It’s soft song captivated us for over 10 minutes as we lay there listening.

Looking Up
The Magnificent Pine Trail, looking up.

I wanted to share this because sometimes its hard to find a way to make a difference. And in those times, living an adventurous life helps build that internal happiness that we all need. I mean, how can we share ourselves with others if there is no fire behind what we do? Seeing the beauty this world has to offer is so warming. So, throughout this winter, when we have the option of staying warm inside and watching TV or whatever, don’t do it! Bundle up, go outside into the world and explore. Besides, going back home to warm up is exponentially better when you’ve spent over an hour having snowball fights, hiking through the woods, and body-checking trees to create an avalanche of snow so that snow goes down your shirt and creates that uncomfortable cold, wet-cotton-sticking-to-your-skin feeling.

Sometimes when I’m out in the snow, I like to go down on my knees and just stick my face in it. It stings beyond belief. By doing this I achieve a massive brain freeze without consuming anything, and I have freshly melted snow that flows down my neck. For some reason though, I continue to do it, storm after storm, year after year. I don’t know why I like it so I can’t offer an explanation other than it’s incredible. Call it masochism if you like, but I’ll just keep calling it living.

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