"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today we went adventuring. The girls woke up from their naps to a beautifully sunny afternoon, chilly, but one of those early spring afternoons that holds so much promise that you just have to go outside and be a part of it. So we bundled up and set off on a long hike.....

Ok, it wasn't that long. There's a big hill in the park area behind our house, and the girls love to climb it, so up we went. And while it may be just "a hill" to me, to the girls I think it is a giant mountain! Bethany clung to my hand and needed a lift over some parts, but she was so determined to be as big as her sisters and make it all the way up, so she did. And Hannah, upon finally and breathlessly reaching the top, flung her arms up triumphantly and crowed, "I did it!" She looked so little to me up there, even though she felt so big....
On the other side Ashley found giant boulders and embraced her inner mountain goat to clamber around on them. When silly worried me suggested she might want to wait until she was bigger to climb on the big rocks, Ashley confidently chirped, "It's ok, Mummy, I feel like I'm 4, so I won't fall down!"
You know how everything looked so much bigger when we were little than it does now? For five years when I was 7-12, my family lived on 20 gorgeous acres on a mountain above Colville, WA. I remember it as a wonderland of wilderness. There was a steep, steep sledding hill that was at least a mile long. A deep ravine lined with willows and other trees whose long branches made great launches into piles of snow in the bottom of the ravine during the winter. A rushing stream whose waters carried me and my sister downstream more than once, in a fit of shrieking giggles after an accidental tumble from the bank. It was never scary because the rushing stream ended in a big, beautiful pool above a towering rock dam. Now that I'm all grown up and can't get in trouble for the revelation, I'll even admit that there were quite a few times we "accidentally" fell in on purpose, just so we could play in that pool.

A couple years ago Lamont and I drove up that mountain so that I could show him my favorite childhood home. As we neared it I regaled him with tales of the things I used to do while wandering that vast, wondrous place. Then we rounded the final bend, and before my astonished eyes lay a version of my memory that was just so much smaller. Everything was more or less where I remembered it; the sledding hill still beckoned inviting, but it was a gentle slope of maybe a tenth of a mile. The deep ravine was more of a 3 foot ditch! The rushing stream...well...a modest creek trickled its way past the house to a shallow pool where it was held back by a a little pile of rocks. *sigh*
I prefer the versions in my memory, bigger and brighter and larger than life. It's part of what makes our childhood memories so sweet, isn't it? The wonder that is still inspired when we remember what a big, exciting world we lived in back then? I hope when my little girls have to be grown up, they remember the big, thrilling things like I do. I hope they look back on the adventure we had today, playing on what I see now as a little hill, and think that they truly scaled towering mountain peaks!


  1. So true; the world seemed HUGE back then. I have decided it is better not to visit (as an adult) some of the wondrous places of my childhood.

  2. "I feel like I'm four, so I won't fall down". I love it!