In February, this theme develops. My regular full gas approach reaches the point of diminishing returns as the snow piles up, the ice hardens, and the wind blows daggers in my face. I keep leaving home, trying to burn off a mood or find an adventure, and sometimes I’m successful. But endurance isn’t just continuing on when you get tired, it’s also continuing on when what you’re looking for won’t be found, when your mood doesn’t submit to the pounding of feet on snow pack, or the adventure proves too cold to produce its charm.
I’m on the tail end of 8 straight days in the woods, show-shoeing, ice-hiking, skiing, and I’m tired in mind and body. On this last morning, I set out with the dog, but without a lot of goals or hopes. I just figured I’d walk until the trees got nice and then stop and look around.
This is the woods looking back at me, tall firs growing fat on a hillside, the trail snaking along the contour. An ice bound brook gurgling through in spots, the running water throwing shapes on the underside of the clear ice. A woodpecker makes its short, reedy call.
You don’t have to go fast to find this moment. You can’t actually. You have to slow the fuck down. Stop even. Give up looking, and just wait to be found.