Yesterday I found myself driving through Rock Creek Park at dusk. Here's the thing about Rock Creek Park: It's this huge wooded park that runs through DC. But even though there's a MASSIVE metropolis all around it, once you get into the park you would not have a clue. You're totally isolated.
This abrupt move from urban to rural is kind of popular around here. One second it is wall to wall buildings and asphalt, but turn a corner and all you can see is hardwood. It never fails to surprise me, and I'm always like, "Holy crap! I'm in the COUNTRY! Everywhere I look there's NATURE! I gotta get the hell outta here!" You'd think that growing up in Colorado I'd be more comfortable with nature, and I am when I'm expecting it, like when I deliberately leave the city and go to the Mountains. Here there is no gradual transition. It just springs up on you when you least expect it. And you just can't throw that on a person and not expect them to freak out a little bit.
So anyway, I've been through this particular section of Rock Creek Park before so I was prepared to be transported to the wilds of the Yukon. But even if I hadn't been prepared, the line of cars in front of me would have been a comforting reminder that I was still very much within the city limits. I have not, however, been in RCP when it is under a blanket of new snow. And I have to tell you, seeing the park like this was beautiful! I was completely charmed! And I wasn't even annoyed to be going at a snail's pace, since it just provided more time to enjoy the beauty. (I mentioned the line of cars in front of me right? And I mentioned the snow, right? Round these parts they call that Peas and Carrots. Peas and Carrots.)
Wanna know how beautiful it was?
Well, just picture your favorite snowy forest scene ... Got it? Now throw in some stone bridges, a cardinal or two, and some gently falling snow in the pearly evening light. If your imagination wants a little more action, you could add some kids sledding down a hill. And then if you're feeling a bit chilled because it's really cold out there and those kids sure look chilly with their pink cheeks, just imagine that you are sitting snug in your little MINI with your seat warmers going. And imagine you are singing along heartily with Christmas carols.
And if you've imagined all of that, then your little heart is probably near to bursting at the coziness of it all. Or else with envy. It can be hard to tell which.
(Do I need to mention that this was the "special" thing I did yesterday? This countdown is going to get tedious if I have to keep mentioning that. What do you think? Did you get it?)