I love the snow. I love everything about it. I love the cold, bundling up, I love sledding with my kids and the crunch you hear underfoot when stepping in the snow. It covers the world in a blanket of beauty and even makes ugly things seem beautiful even just for a time.
I especially love cross-country skiing. I grew up skiing and it holds a very special place in my heart and in my childhood memories. My husband, our kids, our dog and I go every chance we can get in the winter, and have been taking those opportunities since both the boys were just babies. Now, I love going with my family, we have so much fun together and it is such a beautiful family adventure every time.
Despite loving family ski time, for the past two days, after finishing up my classes, I have had the deep privilege of going skiing by myself. Just me, my skis, and quiet. There is something so beautifully quiet and peaceful about the snow and being by myself in the snow. Couple that with the fact that I saw next to no one on the trail, had no watch, no cell phone, and nowhere to be....this is a recipe for such a sense of freedom, peace and calm.
Skiing is a bit hypnotic. I hear the swish of the skis, the poles hitting the ground, feet sliding along the surface of the ground, quiet but rhythmic, calming and repetitive. Cold and trees surround, making a canopy above and around me. The sky was cloudy; thin, grey, enough to shade the sun but not to block it from view. It was as if the sun was peaking around a doorway, enough to know it's there, but not enough to see it. My nose and cheeks are cold, but beads of sweat start forming.
I followed the river a good way, stopping fairly frequently when the beauty would take my breath away and I would have to take a picture. I went up small hills, maneuvered around rocks and down those same small hills with grace on par with a newly-born giraffe, until I came to a spot that just felt like a turn around spot. I turned around and went home the same way I had just come.
I got back to my car, loaded my skis in, and drove home. It was beautiful, peaceful, quiet, and perfect.