I suppose the purpose of Spring is to make the loss of Winter seem okay. Daffodils are sprouting and cherry trees are blossoming like snowfall caught in their branches.
Winter is almost over, and it is bittersweet.
I enjoy spring skiing–when the snow changes to isothermal pellets frozen harder each night and softer each warm day–but so far we haven’t had much. Instead the snow has kept on, relentlessly prolonging winter. In the past 30 days, we’ve had 13 feet of snow at Crystal. The windows in my house are now completely buried under 10 feet of snow. I tried to dig them out the other day, just to get a sliver of light into my bedroom, but it was futile. The drip line of the roof has created an impenetrable line of frozen snow that bent my shovel.
It’s too bad that the days are getting warmer and longer. My favorite chutes are filled in now. All the roughest parts of the mountain are smooth; the snow has covered over all the grooves and crevices and erased the cliffs. But soon the sun–if we do see it this weekend as predicted–will shrink the snow away from the rocks. Soon Winter will lose its grip and Summer will prevail.
I had my hair cut yesterday in anticipation of soon being seen without a hat on.
This is supposed to happen, of course. Life changes. We grow older. Relationships end. New ones begin. Snow melts. Flowers sprout. For most city dwellers, the arrival of Spring must be grand. But for a skier, it’s bittersweet.
Sure, I love sun. I long to feel its rays warm the part in my hair and soften my cold bones. I look forward to walking barefoot in warm grass and dipping my legs in cool water. I can’t wait to trade my ski boots for flipflops.
I just wish the snow could stick around too. I want it all–warm days in the valleys and cold smoke in the mountains. I want to play one day on my slackline and paddle across a smooth lake on my board, then ski powder the next. I want to gather the best moments of my life and live them all at once. Life is too short to space out our joy this way.
But then I notice a patch of daffodils and can’t help but look forward to the smell of dirt and leaves warmed by the sun. I’m curious about the wildflowers this season. Will they arrive earlier this summer? Will they be glorious? Will the lake warm up by June? Will the Spring snow stay on the volcanoes long enough to be climbed and skied in stable weather?
We’ve had such a good winter, I hate to see it go. But then again it has been a tough winter. Every snowfall has come with wind. The upper mountain was closed far too often. Many parts of the country had dismal snowfall. Perhaps I should welcome the change.
Not before I ski a few more days however. Crystal will remain open on weekends as long as the snow lasts, so it isn’t over. Soon my windows will let in light again as the snow retreats.
That’s the way it should be I suppose.
- All I Want for Christmas is….SNOW (kimkircher.com)