By twice, I skied more this winter than in the last twenty years combined. Not since a winter in Stowe after college, have my eyes leapt so quickly to the window each morning to see if new snow had fallen overnight; nor has my mind had so many wandering thoughts during the day about conditions up on the Mountain.
After so much time, my body has reabsorbed the breath of a “ski bum”, walking through life, but living to slide, as comfortable in heavy boots and awkward sticks as a ballerina in slippers.
In four short months, I have made more friendships than days skied. Such a wonderful energy lingers around a ski resort. More than just a healthy physical activity, there is a lifestyle embraced, a common passion shared that unites everyone in smiles. No bad moods cloud the sky. No one is a stranger here. It is expected that we will entrust our little skiers to get on the chairlift with whoever happens to be next in line.
When informed in late November of being assigned a group of four year old “never evers” to teach all winter, I seriously noted my sunken heart and (so focused on learning to trust my intuition) considered going another year without skiing more. Hourly over the next four weekends, as my son and I skied backwards coaxing one or the other tearful, terrified child towards hot chocolate, my patience and sanity were sorely tested.
Yet hugs, true heartfelt, warm snuggles, a little head fitting perfectly under my arm, always saved the moment. These little souls who could burst instantly from howls to laughter charmed the frustration right out of me. Their delight and wonder so profound, their pain, frustration and tiredness so close to the surface, their fear and happiness so physically palpable; their gifts were rich.
In the meantime, I leave my little Skatter Monkies with this song from their very grateful Skatter Brain.
Skatter Monkies, Skatter Monkies: skiing down the hills
Skatter Monkies, Skatter Monkies, they give us all such a thrill
Mia Pink with brownie crumbs all over her face, never wants to stop, skis like she is in a race;
Bradley leans forward his hands point the way, smile so big and bright it warms the coldest day.
Mia Blue, I’m telling you, knows just where she wants to go, she’ll ski down any trail no matter what the snow;
Smiley Riley seems petrified with tears, ‘til you get up close beside and hear her singing loud and clear.
Good Golly Miss Molly so helpful and kind, at the back of the pack making sure no one’s left behind;
Brook never asks for help, always goes on her own, throws herself down mountains and never breaks a bone
Sabrina serafina as pretty as can be, refused to go up the lift, but really learned to ski;
Owen kept on goin’, never showed his fear, now he’s off to San Diego, we’ll miss him lots next year;
Early one December morn these kids came to me
So wrapped in goggles & helmets, it’s a wonder they could see
They all looked the same to me, I didn’t know their names
I didn’t speak their language, and couldn’t play their games
But they taught me how to laugh again
And see the clear blue sky
To find the good in everyone
And always question why