alps and altitude.

sun dancing 
under bluebird skies on snow
is the purest solace
i'll ever know
ski gliding
down the mountain
through silver woods and deer park
past silent evergreens frosted in white
playing in powder
and laughing with aunt gladys
while swooshing down back diamonds
on the backside
waltzing along whiskey jack
and traversing the big dipper
with crushed boots learning to carve
peaceful pleasure fills my heart and head
alpine altitude
intoxicating fresh air
life is but a postcard
from way up there

it has been three years and two ski seasons since my last visit to silver star – a special place in british columbia where the southern cross meets the northern lights. figuratively speaking that is. its a beautiful mountain where i, a canadian girl, reunite with my best bud, my chosen sister – my australian family.

its a heartfelt connection, a reunion and one of the most uplifting times that i look forward to every february. an annual experience that i’m deeply grateful for. time with dear humans that i’m forever grateful for.

i can never fully articulate my thoughts or sense of wonder after spending days deep in conversation and hysterical laughter amidst snowcapped mountains and whipped cream powder. the view. the serenity. the people … the peacefulness and the carefree days carving the pistes where the only decision i have to make is whether or not i have a cookie with my morning mocha or devour hot chips apres-ski.

truly, the magic of the mountain takes me away. far away from my otherwise maddening, melancholic yet marvellous and meaningful reality.

up here in this frozen wonderland the air is fresher. the days are slower. the trees are greener and the snow is whiter. coming back to the pinnacle with some time in between i have grown as a skier – i have grown as a person. the pitch of the slopes are still steep but they aren’t as scary. some turns still startle me but they’re easier to navigate. green flats and blue meadows are now wide open spaces – a snow-covered playground where i can play and my inner child comes out. i may not have the skill and technique mastered just yet but i’m skiing down the mountain with a sense of ease, strength and confidence that definitely wasn’t there the last time i travelled this terrain.

perhaps there’s a metaphor in this: a path once adventured that appeared daunting is worth revisiting after some practice and experience has been endured. returning to the slope of difficulty is now a joyful ride of courage and comfort all while enjoying the most glorious nature scene as i ski by.

so yes, there is a resolve for me here. take a risk. trust the tundra. go outside my comfort zone. learn something new. fall. be fascinated. fall again. listen to those with more experience. keep trying. leave mesmerized. come back stronger. try again. and when in doubt, just ski. make my own tracks. blaze my own way to the chairlift. take it in. have fun. let it go. look out for trees. play in the trees. crush the boots. bend the knees. and lean into the mountain.

gravity and grace will guide me from there.

the world outside on the runs where mother nature is gifting endless snow are so quiet that all i can hear are the flakes falling. it is a silence i revel in. a beauty that i’m smitten with. a landscape so lovely that i understand why all the great poets write about winter for she is a season like no other.

the altitude of the alps puts everything into perspective. the cold temperature freezes every thought and feeling. the warm hospitality of my beloved aussies fills my heart. time stands still if only for a few seconds longer. far out moments become everlasting memories. nothing exists between the top of the pitch and the bottom except an ungroomed path for me to explore. at the end of the pursuit i look up the steep, snowy slope. impressed that i found my way down but excited to give it another go for the more i endeavour the more i will discover. about me and the mountain.

oh when i’m in the snow i feel alive. it’s my solace. it’s my release. it’s all i need. snow brings me solitude.

it sets me free.

time spent orbiting the silver star fills my heart with wanderlust, and i could – and will – chase winter forever.

a girl who loves the snow
to ski and let her wild heart go
the wind and the sun
the fresh air in her face
she's tired but it brings her to life
chasing winter, she's filled with wanderlust
snow brings her the solitude she can trust
a love so strong, she won't let go
and she's alive when it starts to snow

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