Today was the first day of snow, my favorite day of the year. Like usual on the first day of snow, I went out into it and opened my bare chest to it; letting the downy snowflakes fall against my skin. In the meadows of the sky, I could see mile upon mile of them making their way to earth. I could feel the pull of winter in the air. I fell in love with the winter long ago and made my home in the heavy folds of its purity. A part of me still lives there. It will live there forever. There is a kind of warmth to the coldness of winter. It has a particular way of wrapping the land and all of its inhabitants in a familiar embrace. The snow makes everything beautiful. I feel safe under the heaviness of the clouds that carry snow. They close in around these mountain towns and create an heir of intimacy even among strangers. People flee into coffee shops and lodges to buy their hot chocolate. Fires crackle in the background of conversations. It feels like Christmas all year long.
I cannot wait to ski. There are people who ski for fun and then there are people who have sold their soul to the snow covered mountains. For those kinds of people, life begins when the snow flies and stops when the snow melts. The summer is a kind of soul hibernation. For us, waiting for the winter to return, feels like waiting for a lover to return. It is as if all of us who have built a life around skiing, have all fallen in love with the same muse. We pass each other on the street; see the sparkle in each other’s eyes and then smile at one another as if to say, “ah, I see you fell for her too!” There is nothing quite like the jubilant stir of a ski town on the first day of snow. I love days like today. Days where it feels like if you reach out far enough, you could feel the season ripen past you.
Graciela took this picture of me today at a restaurant with the snow falling behind me. I was so excited to get to wear my favorite ski jacket again!