"I read, much of the night, and go south in Winter." - T.S. Eliot
While Mr. Eliot had the luxury of going south in Winter, not all of us are able. But, I have decided after the better part of 40 years living in a cold place, I will stop fighting the natural flow of the seasons (and wishing I was some place warm), and try to find beauty in the cold and the snow.
I'm not saying that I'm always successful in this endeavor - talk to me in early March - but I have become better at it. In fact, I credit my husband, Wes, with my appreciation of Winter. When we met, he was the first person I had ever met who liked Winter. I did not know such people existed. So, instead of resenting Winter (and accepting the resultant bad mood that goes with it), I have adopted a new way of viewing this previously dreaded season: by getting outside whenever I can. Here are some of my favorite outdoor winter activities.
- Metea County Park - Cedar Creek runs through Metea Park and, in Winter, especially, its beauty in Northeastern Indiana is unparalleled. The rushing black water surrounded by towering Maples, Hickorys, and Sycamores, with a surround sound of Cardinals and Chickadees calling back and forth is a serene, grounding scene.
- Local parks - With plenty of natural landscapes, Swinney and Foster Parks are a couple of favorites. On a recent Winter visit to Swinney Park, my seven-year-old son and I played a little Disc Golf. Don't know the rules of Disc Golf you say? Neither do we! We just took our Frisbees from home and played whichever hole we saw next. However, we did have a good time and I (may) learn the rules in the future.
- Cross-country skiing at Fox Island County Park - This is tons of fun, but I have to warn of the first big hill on one of the main trails. Perhaps this is a novice's problem, but I could barely get up the hill. It's easily ascended in shoes. Skis? Not so much. Once past the first hill, it was smooth skiing the rest of the way.
- Ice skating at Headwaters Park - No shame in clutching the rail for the first ten minutes.
- ACRES bucket list - ACRES Land Trust has thousands of acres of land preserves across Northeastern Indiana and Ohio. I have a goal to visit each one, county by county.
This is only a short list of the places to explore and to adventure in our part of Indiana - add to it as much as you can.
So, is winter the lesser season? Only if you deem it so.