Mid-winter blues kicked in a little while ago. What are midwinter-blues? Its that feeling when you have skied more powder than your legs can handle, it isn't snowing 10cms everyday, and people you know are dieing in the mountains. Thats the blues. But one bluebird day in the gloomy, overcast heart of winter can be like overdosing on Prozac.
Try this nugget on for size- Winter is life.
Ever heard the term, "Life is tough."
Therefore sometimes winter is tough. Its tough to ski top to bottom. Tough to get out of bed when it hasn't snowed. Tough not to do one more run so you aren't late for work. Tough to have only one beer after an epic day.
It is always tough to make the budget balance. Tough to make it through to the summer with enough funds to live the dream. Tough to work a tough labor job to set up the next winter. Tough to remember how good it really is.
It can be tough to remember how fortunate we are to live the life of a ski bum. To remember that there are less fortunate who can not comprehend the opportunity that we have. Tough to remember that we are lucky to ski hardpack, wind buff. Tough to realize that it won't last forever.
It can be really tough sometimes, to rationale what good there is in skiing and the selfish pursuit of the mountains. Difficult to recollect the soul infusion that first inspired you amidst neon doo-rags and color unco-ordinated, baggy ski suits. Hard to get beyond the image.
It is toughest, however, to loose a friend to the pursuit that they love. It is tough to see the sense of the loss. Tough to get back on the pony and clip your skis on, ride the chair with a vacant seat, and drop in again.
But when you do, you pay tribute. The celebration begins and the vibrancy of the mountains and it's characters comes flooding back like the tears that fall on dust and ashes.
And that's what we did. After a friend and burning light, Billy Poole, passed away this week. The following day dawned bluebird and we skinned up and found solace and strength and clarity in friends and wind hammered powder in the sun. We did what makes blood course through our own veins and laughed at every faceshot. It wasn't such a tough thing to do in the company of companions that take the form of friends and mountains.
RIP Billy. Winter was life.