The past two week's hikes were full of green leaves popping, friends and neighbors and our kiddos. Last week, (week 19 if you're counting), our awesome neighbor Jess McGlynn with her two small humans hit the trail with me and my small human. The leaves had literally JUST opened from buds and I felt like throughout most of the hike my jaw was hung open in awe. What a difference a week makes! Leaves leaves leaves! And then yesterday, (week 20 - jeez Louise - how is the time flying so fast?), my little one and I were joined by the fabulous Matt Gourney and his sweet lil' 7 month old girl who are visiting from Ithaca, NY. More Spring green, more opening buds, more life, activity and energy buzzing in the forest.
Hiking with my son is one of my most favorite things to do. You know, walking along, holding hands, looking at bugs and trees and just being together in the woods. During these past two hikes I saw a glimpse of a growing boy when he - sniff - refused to hold my hand. To be fair, it wasn't like he refused during the whole hike, but normally he is all about, well, holding my hand! Even though it might have stung for a bit, I'm actually very proud of him for walking one step at a time towards independence. Our love for our children explodes into our hearts like lightening when they're born, so thank God their growth into self-sufficient beings happens in little moments like this day after day. I can only handle so much growing up at a one time!
Two weeks on the ledges trail with my kiddo also made me appreciate my solo hikes more. I've come rely on this hike as a time to reflect and filter out the sometimes loud noises of life, parenting and daily on-goings. As much as I love being in the woods with my child, there's also the fact that I often have to drag him up the hill, quell the whining, carry him upon occasion, etc. In the midst of all that mommying, and all the little joys too, there's not much time for self reflection. I suppose its just nice be reminded that I need to take the time for just me, as well as time to nurture my family and bond with friends. A little balance, ya know?
In the midst of all the Spring magic and (finally!) warmer temps, I shifted gears this last week from pumping out homework and book reports for my therapeutic music studies to getting the garden in gear. This is the first time since moving into our Bristol home that I've been able to dedicate some time to getting the garden and backyard up and rolling to grow fruits and veggies. We are unbelievably blessed to have about 2400 square feet of a garden that was just WAY too much for me to wrap my brain around, and for 2 years it has been weeds, weeds, weeds. So. With my honey away last week on business I committed all my spare moments to clearing the scene. Then I had the whole thing tilled, I put 1/2 the space back to grass, and with absolute glee and a little guidance from the wonderful Jill Kopel and Anthony Kessler, I planted our garden! First garden ever! So exciting... I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop, as its all I can think about.
From here I move into the next stage, which is protecting it from the resident animals, of which there are many. Mainly, woodchucks. Dun dun dun. And I also move back into book reports and internship planning. Its a little hard to imagine putting my head in a book, with so much to do in the yard and the sun shining so brightly, but that's what shady trees and lawn furniture is for, right?
Hi, my name is Ali Dawson Gibson. I'm a healer, a singer and a teacher. This Blog, 52 Weeks of the Ledges, is from 2016 when I hiked this awesome Bristol Ledges trail once and week and shared my experiences. Enjoy!