Ski Story for the winter days of 2001
This has been a great winter for skiing, Iíve only missed one day in January and I look forward to many more like today was.
It was five degrees when I started out and the sun was peaking over the mountains. .....I looked up and I watched the sun as it cast it's light on down the Mountain until it exploded all around me. The snow crystals that fell over night were gleaming on the ground and in the trees, they were sparkling different colors, nature's light show.
My ski takes me right at the mountain then it veers off to ride up it's eastern flank. Once up a little rise it levels off and the trail begins a slow rolling up and down. The sun is on my right, the hill falls away and through the trees I can look out across the Au Sable valley to the Jay Range on the other side.
The gliding of the skis is excellent today, the crisp air makes for wonderful swishing, the sound of one ski extended and then the other. I kick my feet out and increase my pace along this roller coaster part of the trail, when I begin a long slow descent towards an iced over creek. I bend my knees and crouch down marveling in my free ride and the sensation of cold air across my cheeks.
I feel the heat inside my body, churning, urging me on. My heart pumps my perfect blood and it courses along itís own path The heat rises and I feel the glow extending itself out to every inch of me and then cycling back for another ride.
I stop on the trail and stand quietly, first I hear a woodpecker somewhere off in the woods, then a tree creaking as it rubs against itís neighbor tree. I squint into the sun pouring through the trees making long morning shadows that cover me. A breeze comes along the valley and rises up the slope that I am on, I follow itís path as it goes through me and up to the mountain top and over.
My skis move me along this forest trail that loggers created once and that hikers and skiers now maintain. Everywhere you look are signs of deer and rabbits and smaller creatures. I come across a deer highway that goes right up the mountain, then I come across a deer that leaps across my path just in front of me. I follow itís white tail on through the woods, as it leaps along itís way weaving in and out of trees until it slowly blends into the landscape.
I wonder what itís like to live as a deer in these woods during winter. They must know these woods very well, they follow the same paths to their favorite trees to eat and have made comfortable out of the way places to spend their nights. Iím sure on mornings like this they stand tall somewhere in the forest and face the rising sun just as we do. Feeling the heat gently massaging them awake. Feeling the new day as it too finds its way in and around the trees of the forest.
Itís a glorious morning here, where I am, and I feel magnificent in my understanding of it. I feel the life of the winter forest all around me in every snowflake and in every frozen tree.
I feel the karma of every unseen animal in the snow steps theyíve left behind. Iím surrounded by the vision of their life, heat, pumping heart and survival.
I know this time, I seek it out as it seeks me, we fulfill our destiny together, I am never alone.