Whenever we have a good snow I love to go for a walk in the woods. Walking in the wintry wonderland has always been somewhat therapeutic for me. This love for walking in the snow started when I was a kid. We’d have a good snow and school would be cancelled, so I’d usually play in the snow half the day and then sometime after dark I’d go out and walk in the snow. I can still remember those nighttime walks in my old Virginia Beach, Virginia, neighborhood. No one would be out but me. There was a alluring peace and stillness in the thick, frosty air. It was a tranquilness and calm enticed by the gentle sounds of falling snow, the low roar of the wind in the tree tops, and that icy crunching sound my boots made as I stepped in the virgin snow.
Back then we didn’t have woods behind our house, but since 2001 I’ve had acres of woods behind my house to walk in when the snows come. And these walks are even better now, because most of the time since, say, around 2004 or so, I’ve had a little partner. First it was my oldest son, but he’s too grown-up for that now. Then, around 2012, my youngest son, who loves nature and, like his dad, loves to walk in the snowy woods, took-over as my partner.
We had a good snow on January 5th and the temperatures remained frigid, so we’d had 2 good days where we went for a walk together in the wintery wonderland behind our home. These walks with both my sons have been special. This recent walk with my youngest son, though, really reminded me of what’s made the company of my two sons on these walks so very special. It’s not just the snow and hiking through it, and the fun, it’s really all about the father and son connection and the shared memories. As we walked and climbed and helped each other up slopes and across the icy creeks, my youngest son, having a great time, would say the little things a father will never forget: “We’re a team, dad.” “Isn’t this beautiful dad.” “It’s so calm and peaceful out here, dad.” “I love you dad.”
These father-son walks in the snowy woods will always be memories I cherish.