X Marks the Spot

My family is very seasonally driven. Not unlike the Canada Geese who migrate in their long undulating Vs, we have certain places where we head certain times of year. Sometimes it’s to get a glimpse of a newly arrived migrant, sometimes it’s to take advantage of a breezy spot on a hot day, and sometimes it’s to see eagles fishing in between ice flows below a dam. And then there are times when it’s to see a stream cutting through its gorge during spring runoff. It’s for this very reason that Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is becoming an annual event for us — I even wrote about it here almost exactly a year ago.

This year, it was a little less snow and a little more mud.

img_2512We captured video last year of our girl struggling on a trail and it’s become the quintessential video of her. In it, with boots so heavy with mud that they kept falling off, she digs in and makes her way up a steep hill equal parts frustrated with us for not helping her more and determined to make it herself. We play it back for her sometimes when she’s telling us ‘she can’t’ to remind her that ‘she can’ — she’s awfully strong and tenacious.

This year, she bee-lined for the same spot and even though it was muddier, she tamed that trail like no one’s business. On the way up it was slick, but she found a small, sturdy stick to use kind of like one would use an ice ax when ice climbing, but for mud.

img_2509As a mum, my first thought was that she’d fall on it and poke out her eye, but she handled it — and herself — with strength and confidence and agility. She trekked up and down that same trail not once, but three times.

img_2500And she was Darn Proud.

While I waited at the head of the trail, I snapped the requisite Big Blue photo…

img_2498I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my soul is made of Big Water.

We made our way down to the beach and had a picnic. The weather was perfect for it. Warm, but not hot. Breezy, but not a gale. Perfect. Then we played for a good long while.

img_2526I combed the beach for good skipping stones…

img_2517And found one that reminded me an awful lot of friends on Martha’s Vineyard.

I built a cairn.

img_2521Because when there are rocks, it’s what I do.

img_2530And I skipped stones & we played ‘Battleship’ (where you toss driftwood into the water and then try to hit it with a rock) until my arms were sore.

As we walked back to the car, I noticed something in the sky…

img_2502And I thought to myself that sometimes X does mark the spot.

With sore arms, muddy boots, and smiles, we made our way home.

The next day, inspired & feeling like I should follow the lead of my brave daughter, I decided to finally change the footman connectors on my spinning wheel.

img_2488They were original to the wheel and — like the drive bands for Lendrums — the plastic dries out and gets stiff. I’d been worried I’d mess it up the repair, but I’m happy to report the wheel is spinning like new again and it feels incredible. Sometimes you do just have to trust yourself, be brave, and go for it.

Elated with the excellent feel of my wheel, I’ve been spinning like a madwoman.

img_2533And last night I finished up the second braid of my current spin. One more to go and then I’ll be plying. The combination of my tuned up wheel & my impatience to see this finished project has really had me spinning away. I’ve definitely been stealing all the spare moments I have for it. After finishing up braid #2, I even stayed up late last night to prep the last braid of fiber so I’d be ready to start spinning asap.

img_2534Yes, indeed. I think sometimes X does mark the spot.

12 responses to “X Marks the Spot

  1. looks like a WONDERFUL early spring day. And that blue photo – I am in love. Look at all those shades, blending together to be just perfect. šŸ™‚

    Love the MV stone – who would think you would ever find one like that?

    • I agree. What’s more — and I didn’t get it in the shot — but this time of year the water near the shore is very tan with all the spring run-off. It’s perfect beach colors. Just perfect.

      As for the stone, it’s amazing what you find when you’ve got your eyes wide. šŸ˜‰

  2. What a fun trip; your photos made me feel like I was almost there myself! Love the cairn; what a great idea! I am in awe, as usual, of your even spinning. Just beautiful!

    • I build cairns everywhere and now my son does, too. They bring me a lot of peace for a lot of reasons. It’s a practice I will always carry with me.

      And thank you for the kind words on my spinning!

  3. How great that you are teaching your children to love the out of doors! There is so much we learn from nature, like beauty and kindness and trying one more time. KUDOS, Mom!

    • Thanks! My hubby & I both spent a lot of time rambling outside when we were kids and we like to let our kids do the same. It’s definitely our version of gym class!

    • It’s not quite the waterfalls that are up around Superior, but considering it’s within an hour’s drive of our house, we’ll take it! I can’t believe we just discovered this gem last year!

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