The October sky is a perfect shade of blue.
Sunshine bathes the hills and jewel-toned leaves glow in ambers and scarlets. Beautiful.
This makes it difficult to pull my mind back to the cold, white winter long ago when I still felt a bit of a thrill when choosing to do dangerous and foolish things.
I’m choosing not to look out the window, and I’m thinking about what today might have in common with that day in Steamboat Springs.
The brilliant sun. Yes. That’s it. Intense sunlight playing off the glittering whiteness (except for that unfortunate blue “bottom” acre at bunny hill.)
Snow blindness. Good times.
I’m going to blame my aunts’ loss of sanity on snow blindness.
I’m sure the condition impacts the mind.
This is the only reason I can imagine why they would take me, Miss Remedial-Ski-School-Flunkie-No-Can-Do-the-Snowplow-to-Save-Her-Life, to the top of the mountain.
“We have the perfect run for you.”
Boy was it.
Glistening snow, sloping gradually through the pines, marked with a sign labeled “intermediate.”
“Uh. I flunked snowplow. I’ll hurtle to my death and likely take you with me. You understand that, right?”
In my family we laugh in the face of danger. “Ha! What better way to learn the snowplow. Shall we push you, or do you want to start on your own?”
So, go I did. Shwoosh, thud, slide -- at least down the steepest part. It seemed safer than the hurtle option.
As the trail lost the steepness, I eventually stood, and believe it or not, I snowplowed.
The rest of the day and week blurs in comparison to that shining moment when I became a skier.
Even the rescue snowmobile incident is forgotten in comparison to the glory of conquering. Sigh.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.