For a while now I’ve felt myself enveloped in a sweet hazy happiness that sweeps over me when I least expect it – I zone out while standing in line at the grocery store or watching Adam play with Gus, the two of them tiptoeing rain boots and muddy paws around the cold fringe of the ocean, and when I come back to the present I find that a small smile has crept over my face.
It has nothing to do with bank accounts or yoga (in fact I slept through yoga tonight, just lay down for ten minutes before heading to class and then woke up two hours later, still yawning).
It’s surprising in its completeness, this unquestioning happiness which at once seems so foreign and yet feels so much like coming home.
It was here all along.
Today Adam and I decided to go out for lunch, we saddled up our bikes and wrangled Gus beside us and set off – me sensibly clad in a winter jacket, toque and mittens, Adam in jeans and a sweater, looking awfully cute but not, as it turned out, prepared for the weather we were about to ride into.
When we set out the day was unfolding as a sunny if brisk March day. Midway through the ride it started sputtering tiny raindrops that felt cute and exhilarating as they dusted our cheeks and the shivery exposed backs of our necks.
As we sat and ate lunch, Gus siting pretty and drooling his own little rainstorm, we watched the skies darken and thought it best to head out before it got worse – ha!
As we left the parking lot it began hailing.Hail! As long as I’ve lived here I don’t think I’ve seen hail. As it started and we looked at each other with disbelief I said, “When does it ever hail?”and Adam looked at me with a wry smile and said, “On our bike ride, of course!”
We couldn’t stop laughing as made slow progress biking against the wind, tiny ice pellets stinging our faces and hands, popping into our open mouths as we howled.
Midway through Adam, with purple hands, begged a mitten off of me and after that we stopped every few blocks or so to trade, so each of our hands could alternately freeze and defrost.
All of our outdoor adventures seem to involve missteps, wrong turns our weather-related catastrophes, last summer I persuaded him to accompany me on a relaxing walk around a nearby lake. I’d gone for runs there with friends before and thought I knew the trail pretty well. But as the afternoon wore on and the terrain became unfamiliar and we lost sight of the lake and ended up hiking, not around the lake, but up and over a mountain adjacent to the lake and ending up about a 1.5 hour trek away from our car, I had to admit we were lost.
Thank god he had a phone and could locate us, and call someone to come pick us up and drive us to our car.
And in the moment it’s always ridiculous and I get a lot of ribbing for these disasters – “Madeleine, we are not nature people” Adam solemnly intoned as we began to grasp just how far off course we were – but they are always so much fun, they stick out in our minds so much more than if we had just made it around the lake and gone home.
Or if we had biked to lunch and back on a mild spring day. We may not be “nature people”, but our forays into nature are always memorable.