Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving to Oh Solstice Tree, Oh Solstice Tree...

The shortening days have shortened our outdoor adventures. I would have guessed, when we lived in Hyde Park, that I would go out with the kids more in the dark when we lived in the suburbs, but still, we rarely do. But I've spent the last month in greater recognition of what an effort it sometimes takes to go outside.

Over Thanksgiving, we four took an outing, as usual, initiated by Brian. We started heading to Raven Run, a nature sanctuary just south of Lexington, tried to sidetrack to Floracliff Nature Reserve, which turned out to be private and appointment-only, and ended up at the Kentucky River, looking for fossils.

Fossil hunting is a common expedition for us. It isn't an activity I crave - we really don't need more fossils in the house, and catch and release fossil-hunting doesn't seem to be an activity I can lure anyone else into. And yet, it was beautiful. We started at river level, where I realized I don't know that I had ever touched the water of my homeland's river, and climbed up to the kind of view I crave sometimes when I am far from home. And yes, we came home with a bag full of fossils. We were parked in a questionable location, but Brian reminded me of what our standard family answer is should anyone ask what we're doing: "Why, we're just looking for evidence for Creationism!"
Further evidence of more recent creation was found at the fallen burr oak at the UK Arboretum.

Since returning to Pittsburgh, we've been pushed indoors by schoolwork and laziness, until yesterday we went to get our first live Christmas tree. We took a saw, intending to cut our own, but instead drove home with what must have been a 200 pound ball of soil attached to the tree. Next year, I don't think we'll repeat this, but if it survives, our tree-cutting outing may take us no further than our own back yard.

I'm hoping, with my classes over, that sledding and cravings for daylight - even frozen daylight - will take us all out a bit more. At the very least, we'll know exactly what the short days and long nights are like, so when night begins to recede a bit, we will know the reason to celebrate. The birth of the new Sun, our reason for the season, and ample reason to get outside and play, too.


Ser said...

I guess I missed on Facebook that it is a LIVE tree. How cool! We are going to cut one this weekend.

It was so fun seeing you. Oh, and the vodka is good!

Nancy said...

Hazel is very proudly reading Piggle-Wiggle all by herself! Slow as Christmas, as they say, but determined. Emily, characteristically, let me read her whole book to her within 24 hours. Then we read a different Betsy-Tacy we had at home.

Also characteristically, I haven't had time to get to mine yet. I am plotting that I will read it when we are in Ky at Christmas, to transport myself into alone time whenever I need it! :)

Don't drink it all in one place! :)