☕️ Thinkski

A Saturday Caesura: New Year’s Edition

Grey snow clouds smudge the horizon. Falling snow blurs the middle-ground and slowly whitens the foreground. I bundle up for a New Year’s Day “Thinkski.” Although I skied these trails yesterday, the new snow muffles my tracks, leaving them at best discernible parallel grooves, at worst, blown into oblivion by the wind or stamped out by snowmobiles. Maintaining my own trails is both an exercise in futility and an act of love for skiing. I reset the tracks more than I ever simply ski them nicely packed and smooth.

As I settle into a rhythmic swish-glide, I think about how this almost daily resetting feels so much like the past year where so many days required a reset of expectations as the world was blown over and apart by pandemic fears, racial violence, political divisiveness, and conspiracy theories. Many days felt like a beginning again, a re-finding of something we used to call Normal even though its exact configuration has always been so elusive that we keep renaming it The New Normal to accommodate all of its mutations. Ski, snow, blow, storm, reset, ski, thaw, snow, reset…

My eyes scan the snow ahead, looking for signs of the trail, but it is my feet that tell me whether I have found it or not. The foundation trail beneath the fallen and blown snow is firm and reassuring. This is the way, it says, ski here.

I think there is a foundational trail through the year ahead as well, just as there was one that brought me through last year and the year before that and the year before that… Choosing each day to orient to that foundation is most certainly an act of loving life and Lord and neighbour. “Stand at the crossroads and look,” said the Lord through Jeremiah, a prophet well acquainted with unrest & lament, “ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

This is the way, God says, walk here. He is firm and reassuring, a faithful refuge, a steadfast guide.

Some recent observations…

– lightning in the winter seems rather incongruent for some reason, but I can now vouch for its existence.

– seeing a mama moose kneeling on her front legs to lick a chunk of salty ice is quite hilarious. Gave a whole new meaning to “bums up.”

– having your car washed by moose tongues (mama and her twins) is quite… gross? unique? weird? Still processing that one.

– when the snow is up to a moose’s belly, snowshoes may be a better choice than cross-country skis. I love skiing, but that outing gave a new perspective on the concept of “breaking trail.”

– vegetables taste better than chocolates

– I never get as much done during Christmas break as I plan. I’ve learned to be okay with that.

– differences in age and stages of life are not impediments to rich times of sharing-laughing-rejoicing-crying with other women. So grateful for the young women in my life. And the older ones, too.

contentment is a profound and beautiful word