Our farm is small by Ottawa Valley standards, where 100 acres seems to be a minimum requirement for using the title, farm. We have just under four acres; for us, it is just enough. We have fenced pastures, a few good barns, a pond, and a rough cedar bush that is just the right size for our small children's explorations and adventures. The smallest one doesn't last long out there (seeing as how the snow is up to her chest), so I trade places with Daddy when he brings her in for her nap.I find a few snowy wood-folk out amongst the old cedars; these children are made of sturdier stuff, and would play all day in the snow if hot chocolate didn't call their names from time to time.
This one smiles shyly for the camera, and my heart is captured once again, as deeply as it was on the day I met her for the very first time.
And of course, the barn cat follows us on all outdoor adventures, hoping for a rub around the ears. He always gets lots of loving when we're outside with him.
I am flooded by memories of my own childhood: endless wanders out to "the bush" behind our house, following trails we created with our travels to landmarks we'd named: Dead Man's Tree, Rabbit Hill, Mayflower Field, The Great Pine. I remember our dad taking us on winter hikes to the old mining property in Quebec where he spent his childhood; he'd make a fire, and we'd cook hotdogs and warm up hot chocolate. I remember steering myself, on skates, around poplar trees and grassy mounds on the edges of a frozen lake.
I've always been more of a stay-inside-and-knit kinda gal, while others go on outdoor adventures. This winter, though, something has shifted in me. I'm craving the joy of skating on an outdoor rink at night. I want to make a fire in the snow and cook lunch for my children. I want the roses to be on my cheeks and the snow in my hair, too.