The lazy breeze wafts through the pines keeping my neck cool as I hike up the mountain trail. Like spectators, the millions of pine needles rustle in synchronized dips as the branches wave back and forth. The robins have not yet returned, and the absence of birdsongs accentuates the cold with silence. There is nothing better than the crisp air up in the hills without without the tinge of asphalt, concrete, or plastic to tarnish the fresh scent of reawakening earth. The snowmelt blubbers in its transformation and it leaves wrinkles of dirt as water cuts away at the sullied white snow.
My breathing is labored, as I pick my footing up the steps of packed dirt around logs and rocks. It is too early in the season for flowers, but the patches that don’t have snow, show signs of promise with green tips starting to show themselves. Winter always leaves reluctantly.
Near the top it is rocky and the tread on my boots is packed with mud, snow, and pebbles so I must be careful. I grip the cold, bumpy rock with my bare hands and it feels as if it’s trying to steal my blood for heat. I dance around the edge using my hands for balance. I jump across an opening, and then shuffle from left foot to right foot up and over another crack between rocks.
My heart thrums in my ears and chin as the exertion of my climb and the chill of the unprotected view meet in the same moment. I’m at the top. The valley drops below me on both sides, the treetops cascading away into the sleeping yellow of the foothill grasses. In a collective yawn, every living thing holds its breath as the sun slips below the horizon. Not yet, it whispers. I hear it murmur a snooze button to the groundhog. Spring is almost here.
Inspiration: #StayHomeWriMo Creative Well-Being Day 2