Peace In A Great, Big, Empty Place

Peace In A Great, Big, Empty Place

Near enough to the top of the world.

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that we received significant snow. I dragged two of my three kids out into the yard long enough for one of them to decide that he wanted to come back inside. The other, my oldest daughter, was willing to walk with me and so we left my property for a hike up the road, and having gotten there, we turned left into a small development, and having walked through that, we walked into a field where we’ve been told that we’re allowed to tread. This information came second hand but it seemed unlikely that anybody would object to us disturbing a hillside’s worth of snow. We hiked to the top of it. When we arrived, my daughter collapsed into the snow because she was tired, and she lay there, cold but happy enough and tired. I took a few steps and turned away from her, and for a moment anyway, it seems as though I was alone in the entire world. I could see as far as the fog and the clouds would allow and snow fell all around me and there was nothing to hear but the wind.

Peace is a rarely achieved thing but I find it occasionally, briefly possible.

We stayed for maybe ten minutes and then hiked back down the hill and through the development and down the hill and to our property. I wanted to keep going and did. My daughter scurried off to go back inside where it was warm.

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12 thoughts on “Peace In A Great, Big, Empty Place

  1. I drove to work today.
    The moon was full and the snow reflecting the light back upwards.
    The trees were covered in ice and snow
    The light equivalent was that of sunrise and I was at least and hour from that.
    It was amazing.
    I wish I could have walked to work….

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  2. One of the things that I really noticed when I destroyed my back, was just how much I wanted to walk. One of the little things that really jumped out at me when I started to limp.

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  3. We’ve been in the high 60s. Today, a bunch of us got take-out burritos for lunch and ate them in a park overlooking the Bay, under skies so clear and bright that I missed having sunglasses.

    Oh well.

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  4. So nice to find peace, and to find how it expands our outlook from the ego of self. At the beginning of your beautiful essay, Sam, you say The other, my oldest daughter, was willing to walk with me and so we left my property for a hike up the road,. After peace has settled on you and your daughter, however, a magical transformation happens, and you say, We stayed for maybe ten minutes and then hiked back down the hill and through the development and down the hill and to our property.

    That subtle pronoun shift reflects the good things peace brings.

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  5. I’m looking forward to spring when I can get the bike back out. Within a half-hour ride of my house I can see ponds with old men fishing; a big stream with herons, a bit of white water, and (if very lucky) a beaver; meadows unknown to people who drive everywhere with a chance to see a coyote or fox; and an off chance to see deer, snakes, and prairie dogs. Mostly without leaving my suburb, and when I do leave, it’s into Denver.

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  6. Beautiful post Sam.

    That was one thing I really missed this winter, with the bad timing to be out of town for the last two of our significant snowstorms. I usually to do my best to get into the woods when there is snow on the ground. In my 39 years I have found no place more quiet or magical. Knowing how similar our states are in topography, this post almost got me there.

    Good stuff.

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  7. Wish I was there.

    We’ve had a very early spring in Oregon. It’s been sunglasses, trips to the beach and summer clothes for me. The closest I’ve seen to snow is watching the petals fall from the cherry blossom trees in my front and back yards. I’m trying to appreciate the nice weather but snow has always been magical. And the drought will catch up to us soon. :(

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