Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity.
— Novala Takemoto —
This time of year, the tail end of January, in Texas can be quite depressing for me. Unlike most people whose melancholia swings in around this time of year due to the lack of the sun’s beautiful rays, I find myself almost in tears due to the lack of snow. Living in Texas can be quite difficult for someone who is so obsessed with snow//winter//seasons of any kind. Whit and I find every possible long weekend//break during the winter months to set off towards the slopes, in hopes of rejuvenating our souls with visions of mountains’ majestic crevasses and snowflakes floating through the air. We just returned two days ago from our last snowboarding adventure of this season, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And once again, as I was gazing towards the mountain peaks through that tiny airplane window, sitting on the tarmac waiting for our plane to set off onto the jetway, I found myself with literal tears in my eyes. I hate leaving such beautiful places, and especially dread leaving the cold, crisp air and snow packed on the ground. I am so excited to finally live in a wintry place, where I can frolic in the snow to my heart’s desire. This year I have been especially ancy regarding this issue, because of the possibility of living among the mountains and snow next year.
(Vail, Colorado — Winter 2013)
(At Corbet’s Cabin, Jackson Hole, WY — 10,450 ft)
Snow//winter seems to divide people into polar opposites. There are no winter “meh”-ers… only winter lovers or haters. I find it hilarious when people in South Texas begin complaining about the “cold” when it is 45 degrees out… and then you have native Mainians (is that a word?) who still carry out their everyday lives without even noticing the -20 degree reading on the temp gradient. And then, of course, you have the classic ski bums. Who can find fault with doing what you love everyday? Some of whom are so dedicated, that they lose job after job, due to the constant peacing out mid-shift when the snow starts dumping.
(Lone Peak in Big Sky, Montana – 11, 166 ft)
For a native Texan like me, skiers and snowboarders alike are constantly befuddled by my presence on the slopes. I had a late start to the snowboarding game. Whit can attest to that. She had the lovely privilege to teach me how to snowboard.. to teach this Texas girl a snow sport, whom had never seen real snow until she was 17. It was a rocky start to say the least, but with determination and patience, we finally made it to the point that we can snowboard together down the slopes (still preferring blues) without fear of nasty falls or injury. I also am an incredibly cautious person and have enough fear for three people, of pretty much everything — natural water (due to snakes and sharks, of course!), going to fast on anything moving (i.e. motorcycles, cars, snowboards, etc), and plenty of other things. So checking things off bucket lists is always a struggle, whether it be convincing myself to jump off a waterfall, jump out of an airplane, ride on a motorcycle, whatever. Learning how to snowboard also spiked my fear monitor.. through the roof. While learning, I would slow myself down any chance I got, because going to fast scared the begeebies out of me. And learning how to carve on steep slopes on my toe edge was terrifying for me.. so overcoming my fears while snowboarding was a long and hard fought battle.
To say I love snowboarding is an understatement and regardless of back spasms set off by it, or the ridiculously large distance between Texas and any good slopes, I am still obsessed. And yes, I am that girl who has to stop snowboarding when it starts to snow, so I can start singing about snowflakes. I am still mesmerized by snow, in all forms. And I still love rolling around in powder and stomping through fresh, pristine snow. I am that girl who ruins perfectly snowed lawns with my footprints!
So enough about my love of that powdery white goodness. Let’s see some pictures.. taken from pinterest, of course!
I want to live someplace this magical one day.
The magic and mystery of winter will always appeal to me. I truly believe the phrase, “The mountains are calling, and I must go!” And I will go, the first chance I get!
As I believe in the power of wildness and wild things to guide us, so have I come to believe in the importance of place and its potency in our lives. I feel with certainty that everything follows from place, that place makes us who we are, that landscape carves out a certain character and community, and that ultimately the places in which we choose to live govern the unfolding of our lives.
— Shadow Mountain: A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wild, by Renee Askins —