Impromptu adventures are the best kind…
I woke up this morning, early – before anyone was awake. I love that. It doesn’t happen too often. I took one look outside at the blue shining sky and it seemed that the only thing that would do was to spend the morning outside. I quietly gathered whatever food I could find that would travel, not having planned ahead at all on a monumental hiking adventure. Wheat flatbread crackers, a ‘wheel’ of cheese wedges, carrots, apple slices, Larabars, cashews and waters. We had (as always) some overripe bananas so I made some banana muffins for a to-go breakfast and filled water bottles for all.
When it seemed reasonable I awoke my husband (who gets up at 4:30 on weekdays and loves weekend mornings) and said, “We simply must go hiking today.”
So as children woke up, we told them about our pending adventure and they quickly dressed. I love the bustle of unexpected fun. It was wonderful. I decided to leave the camera and just relish the fun.
We set out for a hike we haven’t done all together for a long time, years I think. Just the drive to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains was breathtaking. Keep in mind we haven’t seen much sun for…well, a long time. Seattle didn’t earn it’s reputation as the rainy city for no reason.
The kids bounded up the trail, taking in every little plant, rock, tree, centipede, the sound of the water. It was magical. I kept saying over and over and over “Beauty, beauty, BEAUTY!” I found myself wishing I had Psalm 19:1 memorized,
1The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
We were captivated by all that He had made and as we walked together, helping one another over big logs and steep inclines, I was again so thankful that learning and teaching are part of the natural fabric of our family. We took turns answering questions and asking new ones, explaining eco-systems, naming plants, holding a bright centipede and making ‘erosion’ understandable.
Rylee enjoying the view (taken with Chris’ phone)
The kids cooling their feet in the icy river
And I learned the same lesson over again…being a mother requires you to go beyond what you think you can do, all the time. The thing is we can endure more than we think and we are capable of more than we know. I wanted to give up at the middle falls today. I was sure my body would fail me if we continued to the top. I’ve lost a few pounds but not enough to make a nearly 6 mile round trip hike with 1200 feet elevation gain feel like a walk in the park. Did I mention I carried two year old Audrey in the Ergo carrier almost the whole way up AND down? But my husband was determined and the kids were so happy, I wasn’t about to be the party pooper.
We made it. I must admit I was quite proud of myself. The fact that I can barely walk or move now is besides the point. We experienced, we conquered and we enjoyed every single minute.