It was a really REALLY windy day up above. But down below next to the river, among the forest and the still free flowing water, it was calm and peaceful and serene. I glided along quite clumsily for my first time of the season.. no tracks provided for me and having to cut in my own. Wobbly, uncoordinated, happy to be alone in the moment so I didn't have to feel silly about not being "good" at what I was doing, I just tuned out trying to be perfect and found what I was looking for in the rhythm and movement that I was capable of. A happy little squirrel flittered past me on the ground and ran under a fallen tree. I whispered "be well, squirrel" at it as I passed it by. The birds happily sung their chorus in the swaying trees. I turned my ear in their direction as I momentarily closed my eyes and lived in these moments of harmony. The branches moaned and creaked under the pressure of the windy fury. I absorbed their thick throaty complaints as they spoke out loud. The zesty whirrrr of the skis as they ran across and through both fresh and icy snow. I let the vibrations roll through my body and heat my muscles with each challenge in terrain presented to me. A few minutes in, I took off my skis and snapped a few shots with my camera because it was just so beautiful.
The photos are for you all to enjoy, but who gave me this gift? The ability to become so enthusiastic about being immersed in nature this time of year in this way?
This smile is for YOU.