Snow, Ashes and Bears Essay

Snow, Ashes and Bears Essay

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“I’m going to die! I swear I’m going to freeze to death,” Quill, our melodramatic seven year old proclaims.
My husband James sighs next to me. “You will not die, stop saying that. Keep moving, you’ll stay warm.”
“Dad, what’s this?” Quill pokes something with the walking stick. “I’m still going to die.” Dani keeps trying to see Quill’s find which annoys her older brother.
James has made it to the pile of snow. “Stop poking it and let me see.”
“Is it bear poop? Dani, back off, this is man stuff.” Quill puts a cautionary arm across her path. It’s hell being five and a girl sometimes.
“I think I see a sunny spot Dani, let’s go warm up.” I say. The day was warming in the parking lot. Small piles of snow melting next to the concrete. Under the trees circling Bear Lake it is damn cold. Memorial Day Weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park and one side of the Lake still has three feet of snow covering the path.
Dani and I stand in the sun waiting for the “men” to catch up. The view was worth Quill’s whining and navigating through the snow. The breeze catches in the bright green and gold of new Aspen leaves whispering around the lake. The Pine trees scent the air and bask in the sun to steal its warmth from the forest below. The trees are a dark canopy along our path permitting only a few patches of the raised finely mulched trail to a beam or two of sun. Framed like a photo three pencil lead gray peaks rise above a lower sweeping curve of pines. They look close enough to walk over the ridge and touch them. Boulders precariously cling to the side of the mountains. The perfect deep blue early summer sky is the perfect backdrop.
“I’m going to die.”
“Is Quill really going to die?” Dani asks. She is only five but seems much older,...

... middle of paper ...

...y the Park Service for a small jar of ashes. The melting snow ends the embarrassment and has me standing. I brush frantically trying to get all the melting bits and pieces removed. I look around thankful it was not one of the muddy puddles decorating my ass. The brown tinted snow shows signs of other hearty souls trekking beside the lake.
“Do you want me to take the backpack?” James asks trying not to laugh.
Quill is pointing and laughing.
“Keep it up little man. I’ll push your butt in the snow.” I fake a lunge which sends him scrambling trying to coordinate his feet and walking stick.
His bright blue eyes narrow into slits, “You’re going to kill me mom.”
“How many times did you sled this winter? I remember freezing my ass off at least twice,” I ask.
He waves his hand in a, you don’t get it motion. “Mom, Kansas snow is different. Colorado snow will kill you.”

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