Monday I took Thistle for her evening hike. I think there was a low pressure system moving in because both of us were feeling spry. As we circled around to the trail back down to the car I had an urge to cut loose and just run down that hill. So I did. And as I ran, grinning like an idiot, it came back to me.
The hill above the house at the farm. It looked like a mountain when we were kids. We’d climb to the tree line, turn, and run back down as hard and fast as our little legs would go. Gravity and momentum conspired to make me feel like I was the fastest person on the planet.
Other times, we’d lie down on a steep hillside and roll all the way to the bottom. And then there piles of leaves to jump into. And snow forts to build in the winter. And hay forts to build when it was cold but there wasn’t any snow. (Yes, Mom, it could have collapsed on us, but it didn’t.)
There were trees to climb and a big old chestnut stump near the pond that was hollow making it a perfect play house. There were rocks to skip, dogs to chase sticks, pretty rocks to collect, crawdads to catch, and well, trouble to get into.
And for just a moment, there in the woods, running pell mell down the hill, it all came back to me. Of course, we were bored sometimes, too. And I spent plenty of time with my nose in a book. But man we had fun just roaming over that farm in West Virginia.
And I’m so very grateful to live in a place where, most days, I can take my dog to the woods and roam as though I were ten again.