Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Quiet Conversation

Last night at around eight-thirty I took a walk while the full moon still held dominance in the winter sky. A snow storm was forecast to begin during the night, and the moon was slowly being stalked by the foreboding cloud-cover.

I walked through the crusty crunchy snow across the neighborhood ballpark to the Eastern Trail. The trail is a fabulous asset to this community and is Southern Maine's portion of the East Coast Greenway, a projected traffic-free pathway running from Florida to Northern Maine. This local section used to serve as a railway and has been under development over the past several years.

I came onto the trail section between Pine Point and Old Blue Point Roads in Scarborough and headed north across Pine Point Road. I thought it would be great if the path could somehow get plowed to make running and walking easier during the snow season. It was all uneven and tough walking.

This section of the trail goes over the Scarborough Marsh. If you have never experienced the Scarborough Marsh it really is worthy of a place on your must-do list. In any season or at any time of day, the marsh projects an other-worldliness. I love watching the grasses change colors with the seasons and the sea smoke rising up on a cold morning. The Maine Audobon has a center on the marsh as habitats are abundant. It's a destination point for avid birders and canoeists.

Last night I stopped on the foot-bridge that spans about 100 feet over the river. Looking east toward the ocean, I was captivated by the parade of small icebergs making their way under the bridge with the incoming tide. There was not a sound! It was like a moving picture with no sound except for an infrequent soft collision of ice flows. And the full moon! I could have stayed there for hours. Had I just been complaining because the trail wasn't groomed?

As predicted we woke to a snow storm with about three inches already on the ground and a nice northwest wind. My husband continued to suffer with a flu and my daughter wondered about breakfast. My long run in Cape Elizabeth, though I was fully prepared to go, quickly became a low priority.

At around nine my daughter (8) and I donned our snowshoes and retraced my course from the night before. What a different world with inches of new snow, daylight, a stiff freezing wind in our faces, and an adventurous child: "Let's explore in the woods!" Instead of heading toward the open marsh we went south on the trail and into the woods. Again, what a treat to be in the stillness, except this time it was snow-covered trees and fresh snow underfoot, rather than the floating ice. We followed old footsteps and then broke our own trail. SG said it was starting to feel a little spooky because there were so many trees. On the way back we had a lovely tail-wind.

I don't know when or if I will run today and it doesn't really matter. A walk in the woods with my girl, a hot cup of tea, and sick and tired feet to rub seem like just enough for now.


Rich said...

Jeanne, you write so well!! I really enjoyed this last post so much. I really felt I was there as I read your experiences with both yourself and with your daughter..Its just like reading a good book. Thanks for that great little story!!

Keep writiing

Jeanne said...

Thank you, Rich. I appreciate the encouragement and it's great to know you are out there reading it! I do love to write as time permits.

I hope to see you on Sunday. It might be chilly!