This morning I joined my twins’ class on their first field trip. The outing was to Lake Lansing North for an outside scavenger hunt. The chance for rain could have been a hindrance to the scheduled adventure, except the twins’ teacher wasn’t the type to give up easily. Adorned with raincoats, hats, boots and some gloves we all boarded our bus and rode the short distance to the park. Scurrying off the bus we found ourselves in a new world. The towering trees blocked out the cacophony of the bustling city streets surrounding us. The wind blowing the leaves from their summer home provided a constant soothing sound that one child compared to the ocean. We watched the brightly hued leaves lose their fight and flutter swiftly to the ground, combining with the others to cover the grassy fields. The air was heavy with decomposition and decay yet it was not unpleasant. It was earthy. Despite this day not being sunny or warm, its crispness led to a new kind of delight. The clouds overhead changed from white and grey to dark blues and purples. The wind swirled around us and whipped up mini twisters of dropped leaves. Even when the rain did sprinkle down on us, our group neither packed up nor ran for shelter. We played tag. And then we went for a walk on the trail.
I realized that walking through the city hasn’t always a pleasant weather activity. Last year I walked during a blizzard so I could get good “wintery” photos. Over the summer I was caught out in a terrible downpour. However I also chose not to walk in the summer when it was super hot and if I can help it I try to avoid walks during the rain which is not good for my equipment. But today made me realize that to get a true sense of a place it needs to be represented in all climates and in multiple seasons. And only through that well-rounded experience can one get a true sense of something or even someone.
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