When we first moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, nearly 10 years ago, I read (and blogged about) a local newspaper article about how to build durable happiness. The article said that to sustain happiness, we should appreciate and savor, and continue to appreciate and savor, the good things we have in our lives.
I want to lean into winter this year, so when my husband asked me yesterday if I wanted to go hiking with him, I said yes. I had sniffed the air and knew from the forecast that rain was coming. Being cold and wet is pretty much my least favorite state to be in. It’s miserable and uncomfortable and makes me very grumpy, so I almost didn’t join him. I sucked it up, put on multiple layers, including a rain coat, and went anyway.
The roads were clear on the first part of our drive. As we climbed in altitude on the lesser travelled routes, the winding mountain paths got pretty slushy. Rain spit on the windshield, but when we arrived at the trailhead, it stopped. I grabbed my camera and gaiters, and we set off into the snowy forest.
Though we’re too far from the ocean for me to want to live here forever, I’m grateful that we get to live here right now. We could have ended up in a much less pleasant town. I’m grateful we live in a place with four distinct seasons, with mountains, snow, mosses and ferns, deciduous and evergreen trees, hiking, birds, and natural beauty in every direction. I’m grateful that yesterday, the weather kept people inside, and we had the whole forest to ourselves.
I’m grateful my husband planned to hike regardless of the forecast, and that I decided to go with him despite my aversion to being cold and wet. I’m grateful we had nowhere to be and nothing we had to do, and we had the freedom and means to go for a day hike. I’m grateful for my wool socks, wool hat, gloves, raincoat, and hard-soled hiking shoes to keep me cozy while hiking in the snow, and that it didn’t rain on us while we were out of the car after all. I’m grateful for my camera to help me capture the scenery. I’m grateful for the sound of the wind in the trees. I’m grateful for our home, where our cats and children were warm and dry.
And I’m grateful for our fireplace, where I built a roaring wood fire when we got back home and the rain finally came down.
I think that was more than five things for today’s Bloganuary prompt, What are 5 things you are grateful for today? I could have written many more! But it would have bored you.