As I headed out of the house this June morning, my gaze turned towards the mountains. Being a slightly overcast day, I was reminded of the crispness of winter… Suddenly, I longed to be back in the snow and the cold mountain air. 

Somehow, I draw great strength from the mountains, and even more so when they come capped with big blankets of delicious, powdery snow. Something magical happens. Few places have ever been so liberating to me as when I am on a snowboard… 

There is a quality of purification that dresses the landscape—as if everything were perfect. Dressed in white, it is all bliss amongst the tall forest trees, the white pillow-topped rocks, and quiet sky. In this place, time stands still and worries cease to exist. God is everywhere and the stillness permeates my senses.

With relish, I pick my lines through the thickets of pines and aspens that are so carefully tucked away—much like a child searching for secret places to hide. Inevitably, I manage to find that remote spot, out of sight, where I can just sit and savor the quietness of it all. 

Clarity is what happens for me in these moments. It is what keeps me coming back to these snowy landscapes year after year. For me—I would that winter would never end. It is my refuge, and it is my happy place all at once…

Perhaps I was born to thrive in these harsher elements? The biting cold has a way of energizing me in ways that nothing else can…Some time ago, it occurred to me that what I loved most about spending my days in the chill winter air, was coming home to a snug, warm fire, and the people I love.

The melancholy days and biting cold parallel my numbed emotions. Like a seasoned pro, I patiently wait out the storm—knowing it cannot, and will not last forever. Maybe, by embracing my own interminable winter of grief and sorrow now, I will bask in that radiant warmth all the more when I see my Josie again…

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