As I gaze out my window at the freshly fallen snow it takes me back to my childhood. Sledding, snowmen and snow angels come to mind. I think of my cross country skis which have laid dormant in the basement for too long. With childlike enthusiasm I retrieve the skis and bundle up for a new adventure in the snow.
I love to ski and it doesn’t take long before I’m caught up in the rhythm. Back and forth the legs and arms glide, reminding me of a clock with two pendulums swinging in opposite directions keeping time with the heartbeat of the universe. I feel as light as a leaf being blown by the wind over the freshly fallen snow. I observe the approaching trees and the long gray shadows that they cast. They stand like skeletons mirrored in the snow. These naked oaks and maples were in full splendor a short time ago. Now they sleep, resting and waiting for their rebirth.
I move forward into the woods looking for a clear path. The spring and summer rains this year have produced plenty of new growth which makes the trail hard to find. I follow a deer path, but soon discover a fallen tree which blocks my way. A deer could easily leap over this obstacle, but with six foot of ski strapped to my feet, this would be impossible for me. I make my way around the tree and find my own path. I pay careful attention not to get tripped by a root or branch while I move forward.
Soon I am deep in the woods and stop in a small clearing. I close my eyes and take in a deep breath of fresh air. I feel the warm sun on my face and at the same time I feel the coolness of the air which surrounds me. I can feel the beating of my heart and I take it all in. I hear the caw of a blue jay, the chatter of a squirrel, and the sound of a train whistle in the distance. I sense the trees all around me, embracing me, and the love of it all.
Suddenly I am overcome by the overwhelming sense of oneness. That I am a part of all this, and it is a part of me. This is a feeling I want to savor for as long as I can, and I stand and bathe in its essence.
Soon the coolness of the air sets in and once again I am back in the rhythm of movement. I follow the path until I see the hill up ahead. I decide to climb to the top which might be a bit of a challenge. I point my skis outward and duck walk until I reach the top. What a view. The pond below has turned into an icy mirror that reflects the blue sky above. I see my home as well as others. There are farmer’s fields, and trees. Down the road I see the mountains created by the gravel pits, and farther away I see the tall buildings of downtown. I can see for miles from my lofty perch, and once again I feel the oneness. All covered in a beautiful white blanket of snow. And I know this blanket goes on and on much further than I can see. I feel the protection of this blanket, and know that all is well.
Now for some excitement I point my skis straight ahead and down the hill I go. I laugh out loud at the thrill of this exhilarating ride. Now I’m headed for home. I no longer watch my feet, but look straight ahead and move faster and faster. I’m soon inside in the warmth and comfort of home and once again I gaze out the window. The view is much the same as before except for two parallel lines in the snow that my skis have left behind. Soon this path will fade as the snow melts and all physical evidence of this experience will melt away. In fact, all that can be seen with the human eye is fleeting.
The important thing that happened today is the change inside of me. I feel refreshed and a bit lighter, and someplace deep inside of me there is a warmth and glow of a light that shines a little brighter than it did before.
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