Well, it was a fitting end to a wonderful winter. Because, really, we (those of us who love cross country skiing) did have a fine season. I know most of you don't really care that much about this odd sport where you basically push yourself on boards across a snow covered terrain. In very cold temperatures. But to profess a love for skiing is really to profess a love for something deeper: for the quiet of the forest, for the crispness of every breath you take in, for the beauty of a world turned, for the most part, black and white. (It turns out that if you look hard enough, you'll notice significant color differentiation even as the day progresses.)
Let me go back to the early hours of the day. Sunrise. I don't have much time for anything come Thursday -- it is my treadmill day, when I spin madly, trying to keep up with the world, hoping not to slip off and fall flat on my face. But I do have time to step outside just as the sun breaks the horizon.
And I always have time for breakfast. In the sun room today (note the blooming nasturtium!).
From sunrise, I roll over the hours of work to sunset.
I'm speeding home now, hoping so much that there will be time for a ski run before dusk. Ed comes out to reassure me. There's time, there's time...
I know winter is a tough time. I know it. I have infinite empathy for those who work in the cold outdoors now. But tonight, we experience the kind side of the season.
We're out. The trails are icy now: it is the way it must be in the final hours of winter. There'll be bare spots tomorrow. And if the predictions hold true, the rains will wash the snows away by Sunday.
But for now, we are in a wintry state of bliss.
This is it -- the sunset of a day. Of a season. We've been made tougher by months of cold.
In a day or two, we'll be rewarded with spring. But today, we're still skiing, still pushing those boards across fields of snow.
At home, I fix a supper that is everything and nothing. Foods we love, foods that are easy. A one frying pan meal of spinach and mushrooms, eggs and smoked salmon, and as always, a large, very large salad.
As I glance over this post, I think -- how could this be at all exciting? Sunrise, sunset, with little in between. Plain food, known scenery, little variation in any of life's essentials. And yet...