12.20.09 The White Stuff

Ls snowshoes 790 xxx
For nearly half the year, there is no activity in the garden. Unless you count the relentless piling of discarded vegetable matter onto the compost heap. Given how intense things become once the springtime thaw arrives, this hiatus is actually something of a relief. As a novice gardener, I am always in terror of falling behind, forgetting to mulch or weed or water at the right time. I've given up planting new bulbs because somebody (squirrels? voles?) seems to get them before they can bloom, and the ones that do come up always seem disappointingly sparse. I'm sure this is somehow my fault but I prefer to focus on the where I've actually had luck (thus far mostly limited to peonies, cucumbers, rhubarb and irises). And while the whole undertaking lies dormant, I look forward to getting outside to enjoy other pursuits. Up here, starting about now, this tends to involve snow.
Barn snow 790 xxx
I grew up in northern California where I can remember it snowing exactly once. And I think we all know how quickly the urban snow experience degenerates into hideous gray slush. Although I did see Christo's gates in Central Park in the snow and it was a truly magical experience. I went downhill skiing once in Aspen (and have the Prada ski pants to show for it) but I can't say I  liked it so much. The sheer volume of gear necessary, the lines, the lift (horrifying) and the tedium of being a novice all added up to irritation and disappointment, although the brilliant sunshine and gorgeous landscape were a boon. So a couple of  years ago, when G gave me my first pair of snowshoes, I was a teeny bit apprehensive. Turns out it's an absolute blast.The snow is like layers of evidence: the first fall packed down hard, then melted and frozen anew, and now covered again with a powdery frosting, as white as a full moon, as naked as a sheet of paper. But it’s not really blank, etched as it is with the cloven potholes of the deer; the more delicate, almost floral imprints of fox and squirrel; the triangular mark of the hare. Behind you stretches your own sloppy, flat-footed trail—proof that you, too, belong in these woods. As you forge ahead, cheeks stinging, lungs mentholated from the cold air, the crunching of your own progress is all you hear. Coming upon a pond, you see the first pink-tinged clouds of the evening reflected in its mercury-glass surface. Underneath your down and fleece, your skin tingles, your blood is racing. As if this were not heaven enough, I've heard a rumor that Christmas may bring my first pair of cross-country ski boots. I can't wait to start making tracks...
Tagged — exercise, meditation, nature

1 Comment

That is the best description of EXACTLY how I feel about skiing!
LGG on January 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm —