I walked on a forest road today. I had to turn around and search for it– I had expected to see a wet-but-bare dirt road, forgetting that sleds pack the snow down all winter, and the sun has to work a little harder to melt those layers.
It was sturdy enough that my optimistic footwear was fine, and I tromped down one road while remembering another: summer and gravel and all the birds and good company (myself, the dog, a friend).
The first puddle was under the first big white pine. For a long stretch I walked alongside moose tracks nearly as big as my size eights. I glimpsed a little weedy green under the old and faded grasses. I saw snowmold stretched thin like melted spiderwebs.
Every time there was bare earth exposed, I walked on that. The edge of the ice shelf gave way under my feet: a muffled, hollow whump. I followed the trickle of water until it disappeared under the snow pack again. I kept thinking of the past and the imaginary future (both good and bad possibilities), and then bringing myself back to the present: trees, road, snow, hope, and a radiant happiness to be here, now.