Skin to Soil

I’m not much of a cold weather gal.

My more obvious preference is that of a gal curled up in alpaca slippers near a fire, ideally with a warm beverage and a book within arm’s reach.

Little changes in life. Over fourteen years ago, Ken set out to propose marriage over a chilly winter walk on Christmas Eve.

But it’s so cold out there, I’d pleaded.

Please? he’d pressed, throwing me some socks.

(So glad I said yes.)

I once met a cab driver in San Francisco who explained his theories on my persnickety kind, on such indoor affinities.

Midwesterners are always depressed, he says. They stay inside in the winter and say, no, it’s too cold. And they stay inside in the summer and they say, no it’s too hot. And they only get to live what, three good months out of the year? Two? I know this, I am from Michigan. They garden with gloves in the Midwest. Me? I stick my hands right in the earth and I plant it, right there, skin to soil. And you know what? I am not depressed, not a little.

The man had a point.

A chilly walk holds high esteem in our official Winter Blues Cure Jar. There’s just something to be said for bundling up and braving the elements, for letting the wind chill bite at your nose, for getting fresh blood pumping all the way down into those frigid feet.

Skin to soil, so it goes.

I fight it every time. I let my indoor tendencies prevail, opting to start a new puzzle, switch up the playlist, try a new recipe. Anything to stay inside, to shake things up a bit, but from the comfort of my alpaca slippers, please.

It’s so cold out there, I rationalize.

But then there’s Bee.

Bee’s an outdoor kid, is all. She loves adventure and independence – the wider and further, the better.

The world opens itself up to her, and she responds in kind.

Last week, Bee requests an afternoon walk. We have little on the calendar, and Scout is awake and fed. The dishes are washed, the iPad played, the books read, the games imagined, the blocks stacked, knocked over, stacked again and again and again.

The conditions are perfect, and fresh air does sound nice.

But it’s so cold out there, I plead.

Please? she presses, throwing me some socks.

(So glad I say yes.)

My Swedish friend says that there is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.

I say the same for strollers (No bad walks – only bad strollers!), although it wasn’t always this way. I swore by a basic umbrella stroller for Bee’s babyhood, and assumed I’d rely on the same for Scout. But then this stroller arrived at our door from my faraway friends at Bugaboo.

And just like that, between the warmth and comfort of his bassinet to the easy-to-navigate maneuvering through every terrain imaginable, those chilly winter walks haven’t seemed so bad.

I bundle Scout into his stroller as Bee piles on her coat, hat, boots. I tuck him into the soft herringbone fabric with his favorite blanket and we set off – waiting for adventure to find Bee, waiting for sleep to find Scout.

We find both in a backwoods park with a frozen pond, and we sing Bee’s solar system song and Scout begins chattering and I swear I hear a bird chirp somewhere in the far-off distance.

It is just us and the pond and each and other and a bird.

Later, we’ll lose Scout’s pacifier and Ken and Bee will venture out to retrieve it near the dock. She’ll find a bundle of sticks to break ice with, prying them right out of the very earth they’ve settled into.

Skin to soil.

And I’ll remember the cab driver from long ago, and I’ll smile at his words:

And you know what? I am not depressed, not a little.

 

This essay was written for and sponsored by Bugaboo in celebration of their newest stroller, the Cameleon3 Elements – a genius innovation inspired by natural elements like the sea, wind and rocks. Here’s to the great outdoors and the littles who love ’em. As always, all opinions are my own!

  • “I fight it every time. I let my indoor tendencies prevail, opting to start a new puzzle, switch up the playlist, try a new recipe. Anything to stay inside, to shake things up a bit, but from the comfort of my alpaca slippers, please.”

    THIS! Exactly me! It takes a lot this time of year to get me outside for more than the dash between the house and car BUT…I realize how much my mood improves when I do spend some time outside!

    • OH, mine too!!! It never sounds fun to bundle up and brave it, but I always feel better afterward! :)

  • You are SO right about getting out, even when it’s cold! My midwestern husband doesn’t mind the cold as much as me, so even when it’s cold in Brooklyn, he gets me to go out–and coming back inside is so nice after the fresh air!!

  • This is a beautiful tribute to the value of good ol’ fashioned fresh air! If it wasn’t a blizzard-ing over here in Nova Scotia I would be packing up the kids right now for an outside adventure. 😀

  • As an Ohio gal I can totally relate! We drive ourselves crazy talking about the weather we forget how therapeutic sun on our faces and fresh air in our lungs can be. Great post!

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