Thursday, February 4, 2016

Day 97 I was a Drunken Moose

I've got a few more minutes at a computer finally, so I'll try to make up for the last rushed post.  A funny blogworthy thing happened a week or so ago... I was mistaken for a drunken moose.

A light snow was falling after a night of steady accumulating flurries; no storm or anything harsh, just a morning that dawned a winter wonderland... On a backroad, presumably a gravel road, but unused as it had been that morning, I was happily walking through ankle-deep fresh snow without ice beneath.  The temperature was comfortable; there was no wind to speak of.  I walked for hours alone to the sound of snow, sometimes falling lightly, sometimes clumping down off tree tops, and sometimes just squeaking under my boots (not enough snow for snowshoes).

Who wouldn't enjoy such a morning's walk?  For miles and miles, I was absolutely alone in the woods.  Unwatched, unaccompanied - what is the saying? 'dance like there's no one watching; sing like there's no one listening...'  so I sort of was, but walking, not dancing, and not really singing out loud, but with happy random thoughts savoring the journey of the day... I wandered the full width of the track - this side to peer into the woods where there were fresh deer tracks, that side to follow a wee mouse along the slight crust of the snow for a remarkable distance considering its size until it spied me and jumped into the forest... meandering onward now stopping to watch a red-headed woodpecker pound persistently into a tree top... wandering sort of straight down the middle, then stopping for a bit of a piddle on one side, later sitting on a snowbank on the opposite side to eat an apple... adrift in my own thoughts for hours and hours, unhurried, unwatched, totally enjoying my morning walk - yikes!  suddenly, silently, a small car was behind me! Hello?!  A puzzled woman shouted out - 'what is this?? I thought I've been following a drunken moose for miles!  What are you doing out here?'  I looked back down the track I'd walked... sure enough, little prints in the snow, never in a straight line for very long, tracks that could have been made by a drunken moose, indeed.  Or a pilgrim enjoying the solitude.  We both laughed fully, well into the evening, it turned out.  Why not?  Dance like there's no one watching.  Sing like there's no one listening.  Walk like a drunken moose through the fresh snow.

Some days later, at the Martyrs' Shrine, I took a day of rest as a guest of the Jesuits.  A pilgrim from Toronto came to visit.  With much deliberation, I parted with my snowshoes.  The end of January - winter's half over - not much snow to speak of.  While I used them a few times, I never really needed them - not like the deep deep snows of Serbia and Montenegro last winter.  If I find I need them again, we can be reunited in short order.  Now, without the added weight on my pack, with virtually no snow left on the ground, I can leave a trail of light prints in the mud - perhaps not as easy to mistake them as being made by a drunken moose.


Michèle Dextras said...

A drunken moose! How funny! My impression is that you are quite enjoying the isolation of the Ontario woodlands. You are getting closer to my home town of Ottawa. I wish I could be there to greet you and shelter you. Enjoy!

Éléonore said...

Chère Ann, je ne parle pas très bien anglais, mais je suis certaine que nous aurions eu bien du plaisir ensemble. J'aurai aimé vous accueillir dans ma maison et vous écouter parler de vos voyages et de votre amour pour les autres. Malheureusement, je demeure à l'autre bout du Québec. Je trouve extraordinaire ce que vous faites! Bon chemin mon amie!

Dear Ann, I am not very good in english, but I am sur that we can have pleasur together. I would have liked received you in my home and listened you for hour to talk about your travels and about your love for other. But my home is far away from québec (in the nort at baie-Comeau) I am very impress by what you done! Buen camino dear friend!

Winter Pilgrim said...

...Eleonore, le groupe pèlerin de prévoient quelques événements pour mon arrivée dans la région de Québec ville, notamment l'organisation de quelques pèlerins locaux de marcher avec moi quelques portions ... vérifier avec eux pour l'itinéraire. Aux les bons moments! Ann

Nancy Leigh Harless said...

I hold you in awe, Anne. If your path ever travels through SE Iowa, USA you've an open invitation to stay in my home,or my treehouse, for as long as you need. Burn cameo.

Nancy Harless