Some days, I like winter immensely. Yesterday was such a day. The morning arrived with one of those sunrises so bright and fiery in color you imagine you might get a burn if you touched the sky. I trotted outside with no coat and wearing nothing but slippers on my feet to capture a few images with my digital SLR camera.
At midday, in warming temperatures, my friend Bill and I drove to the Great Divide Ski Area for a few hours of sunshine skiing. During my twenties and thirties, few activities meant more to me than skiing. After I married Uyen, she became an avid skier. We craved for winter, for deep snowfalls followed by clear skies. We went skiing at every chance. That all ceased immediately in 1996 when transverse myelitis struck her and left her wracked by nerve pain and too wobbly and weak to ski. Basically, she traded skis for a wheelchair.
I also stopped skiing, not wanting her to suffer through my pleasure. As I always told her: “We are not going to live separate lives. I go where you go.”
Since Uyen’s passing, I have taken up skiing again. I thought of her yesterday as I swished down a sunny white trail cut through tall stands of lodgepole pine. Pleasurable thoughts, those. We ski on, but have not forgotten those who have turned off to make their own trails through the trees.
How can I possibly describe how skiing feels? Like flying with wings at your feet? Like freefalling with the mountains attached to you? Like swimming in the sky?
I needed yesterday. I needed to stand atop a mountain with a radial view of other mountains all around me. I needed the speed of groomed runs and freedom of carving through narrow steeps.
I have posted a photograph of yesterday’s sunrise I captured from my “front yard.” Also posted are photographs from the Great Divide.