I have read on more than one occasion that the outdoors, in just about any form, has all kinds of curative powers. Many have told me that Being outside is restorative and can rejuvenate ones total being. Being outside with an uncountable number of kids, half my age and a third younger yet, was the proof in the pudding, and I wasn’t even feeling bad to start with.
Some of the kids were old enough to bait a hook. All of them in the end could crank a fishing reel round and when the little girls got a bite, the shriek of enthusiasm was ear piercing to say the least.
Boys not pulling trout through the ice found a ready second in enjoyment trying to straighten any girl’s ponytails. Snow balls and little bundled body’s were tossed head first, head long, face first and bootless into any snow pile unoccupied. Not one tear shed all day.
The laughter was non stop from sunrise to bedtime from 80 pounders of energy and either gender was brim full of infectious mirth. It got so bad at times the adults in the crowd, me included, couldn’t help but laugh along with them.
Freshly caught and then stiffly frozen trout, destined to be their dinner, for a few hours prior, become toys. One larger trout was a pre lunch football. Ketchup was used to spray names in the snow. The lakes fluffed covered white surface was pounded down during the day with little incessant footprints. Those kids ran, chased, and wrestled a winters indoors right out of themselves.
At days end in my home, the basement smelled of wet everything right down to the wool socks. I saw oodles of little pink toes and red faces perched in front of my fireplace. I had a hot toddy and they ended the afternoon with hot chocolate. One little pajama clad girl grabbed my finger, yanked it twice and thanked me for a real fun day.
I don’t know who had a better time; all those uncooped kids playing all day or the few adults and parents gathered who got to watch. Finally, like turning off lights in a room as each individual youngster fell off to slumber in a sleeping bag the energy in the room went from robust to calm and quiet.
The fire in the fireplaces was glowing softly when all the little lambs were finally asleep. As I went to bed I couldn’t help but silently thank each one of them very well behaved kids for a great day. They reminded not to worry about a lot of stuff or not to get too worked up about what could be, or what was, and just to spend the day in what is. I went to sleep feeling very good.
The Trout Whisperer
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