Mt. Doug Hiking

It isn’t spring.

The rain and cold that mark January in this place makes that clear, and yet as I head toward the mountain, the smell of wood smoke and wet earth verging on new birth stirs a memory of cold spring in another landscape.

Prairie spring. Mud replacing the snow, puddles in fields and ditches, crocus and pussy willow arriving according to their own timing. Many poets have written about the landscape of our birth imprinting itself on us forever. Walking in the woods today, I had the feeling of being in two places at the same time – here and in a long ago prairie spring (I can’t say when I last physically experienced a prairie spring.)

Memory senses quickened in me a need to be near the water. Perhaps a need to walk in puddles. The creek was low, and I guessed rightly that the tide was out. I breathed in ocean, sand, and water running to the sea. Were the seagulls on this shore the same as those of my childhood near the Redberry Lake Biosphere?

If  you are called to the seashore side of Mt. Doug Park and want to indulge yourself in puddle/tide pool jumping in January wear rubber boots, so that you don’t walk home with wet feet, wet socks, and wet hiking boots.

Remember, it is only spring somewhere in your memories.

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