Friday, March 5, 2010

Small Victories, or Reconnecting with Nature


Last weekend Curtis and I ventured away with five other couples and four children under the age of two. It was a retreat of sorts, one filled with overly indulgent meals, no internet access, thoughtful conversation, Guitar Hero, and sleeping in (well, as much as four children under two will allow).

In the midst of intense battles of House Rules Uno, endless bags of Doritos, and frequent diaper changing, the men folk wandered away from the cabin into the wilderness to demonstrate their brute strength and bravado by constructing a larger than life snowman on the frozen lake.

The first snowball (the one J is standing on) grew according to plan as they rolled it around until the three of them couldn’t even move it. The second snowball was constructed in a more reasonable size, but too late it was determined that they had no means of hoisting the second onto the first.

Enter: Creativity.

They determined the dock (near Curtis) would be the perfect launching point of second snowball onto first, but unfortunately the first snowball was already too large to move. First snowball was abandoned (hence J’s jubilant deconstruction seen in picture) and second snowball became the new base. A third was now constructed, its growth timed to cease at the end of the dock.

In the end, a two-part snowman was constructed, and the three victorious males returned to the lakehouse with soaked jeans and sweaty brows to recount their feats, delighted that it had been recorded for posterity in both motion picture and film.


As K (see: Local BFF) and I watched this whole thing (while entertaining A’s darling baby) we pondered the years of education at work constructing this challenging snowman: three bachelors degrees, one masters degree, and one (nearly finished) medical doctorate.

And here they were, finding so much joy, just by playing in the snow.

Sometimes we need to get away, to retreat from the chaos of life, to remember the joy of simplicity. In our modern, technological society it is difficult to find isolation from life’s expectations; there is always cell phone service, an internet connection, a need to be met and work to be done.

None of those things are inherently evil, but they can crowd our appreciation of people, nature, and storytelling around a large table after dinner.

At the end of the weekend we returned to our homes and our duties, rested from responsibility. We prepared for the battles in the weeks ahead, and mused that challenges of building snowmen are a welcome relief from the actual challenges we faces, things that cannot be easily solved using docks, large branches and a good shove.

Yes, the experience was rejuvenating; sometimes you need little victories to find the will to continue to persevere against the large ones…even if all they involves is a pile of snow.

1 comment:

  1. ah ha! This was what you were doing with other people's children last weekend...