Spring Was Here

Three weeks ago, spring came. Sun shone, snow melted, robins returned. I entertained thoughts of mud between toes, vibrant green leaves, and running barefoot. I also took action, spending my afternoons on our climbing wall.

I welcomed spring without reservation. I transitioned from gore-tex jacket to cotton tee. Trekking poles replaced ski poles. I traded goggles for sunglasses. Instead of fighting rapid and obvious season change, I rolled with the punches, just as streams rolled with melting snow. A small part of me felt wistful. I seldom tire of skiing; even after a thirty days of skiing, I still anticipate the next ski day. Accepting spring can be hard, but the hope of spring skiing on nameless backcountry slopes consoled the wistful skier in me, rendering me fully ready for spring.

Most winter weeks Dane and I climb with friends at an indoor wall. Climbing outdoors fueled many discussions: how soon could we get outside?  With the advent of accommodating weather, our rock climbing group made plans to climb outdoors on our wall. By sunrise the next day, we cancelled. My skier personality was pleased. A sort of perma-snow descended on the ski hill. Each night brought a few inches, temperatures dropped, conditions changed from spring to deep frozen winter. Snow even ventured down into the valley. Wednesday’s forecast predicted a sunny Saturday. By Saturday sun had been postponed until Monday, and so it continued. Next, a storm hit, bringing a knee-deep dump of snow in two days. I forgot about rock climbing. I rolled with the punches, snowflakes rolled down from a dark foggy sky, and my tires rolled up the road to the ski hill. Given the conditions, no other prudent options existed.

During that first spring early in March, the ski hill iced up. But now much of the off-piste terrain skis as well as it has all year. Not only has the daily snow ration keep everything soft, but a winter-long snow accumulation covers all rocks, bushes, bumps and other misfortunes. It feels like a snowy December again. I nearly expected to hear Christmas music playing at the base lodge.

But April draws nigh. I know spring will come. I am still ready for spring. But so long as the privilege of extra winter continues, so long as spring is postponed, I will gladly immerse myself in winter.


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