Tracks in the Snow
When I walk by myself in the snow, I’m never walking alone.
The other morning I went out for a walk in the fresh snow. My usual road was suddenly new. A variety of footprints indented the snow with their different shapes and depths. There were huge cloven hoof prints that showed where a moose had leapt a barbed wire fence, and ran through the ditch and across the road.
A tiny set of four shallow depressions told the tale of a mouse bounding through the snow. A larger set of canine paw prints followed right behind and then caught up where there was a scuffle in the snow and where both sets of prints disappeared. On the opposite side of the disturbed snow, the canine paws continued. The tiny prints did not.
Listen to me read this post:
Tracks in the new fallen snow told me about the birds in my backyard, large and small, feasting at the feeder, and about the cat watching them from behind the low bushes beyond. Deer footprints in my yard told me of wild, hungry creatures that had developed a taste for birdseed.
Some footprints in the snow bore the intricate pattern of rubber soles. One of these sets was larger than mine and was closely accompanied by big dog feet that occasionally strayed off into the deeper snow in the ditch. The other shoe prints looked familiar. They were the imprint of my own soles from yesterday afternoon’s walk.
Tire tracks swerving into the ditch until they stopped where the snow was deep told me that someone had underestimated the slippery road conditions. The tire tracks veered sharply out of the ditch, kicking up dirt and dead grass along the way, reassuring me that the vehicle had four-wheel-drive and that the driver was able to get unstuck.
When we walk in the snow, we never walk alone. Those varied prints in the snow remind us of all the beings with whom we share the road. Maybe they’re a bit behind or perhaps they’re running ahead. They might be moving on two legs or they might be traveling on four. They might be strolling for pleasure or running for their lives. They might be searching for food or trying to walk off all the food they just ate.
No matter the road, we never walk alone. There may not be anyone else in sight, but others have come before and others will follow. Every traveler will be different than us in some small way, fur-bearing or toque-wearing. But mostly they’ll be the same in that we’re all on life’s journey and we’re all doing the best we can to navigate it.
Thanks for spending some time with me here at my website. So glad you could stop by. For those of you who live in my neck of the woods, I’ll be at the HPS Christmas Market on Saturday, November 24th selling my books and our local history book. Memories and Milestones is on sale for $100/set and my young adult novels are $5 each. It would be great to see you there! ~ Lori
Lovely meditation on walking, snow, life, and the magic of letting our thoughts roam where the road takes them.
Thank you, Amy! 😊