Being a snowshoe guide this winter has been amazing. Now I have a reason to enjoy winter and get paid doing so! Although I long for spring and the whitewater season, I am looking forward to next winter when I can experience being at the top of the mountain while the view is spectacular in the crystal clear winter air. I even don’t mind riding the chair lift so much now. It still makes me nervous, but not so that it’s a problem! Hiking through the woods with groups of people who like things in life a little quieter and slower, and then tromping down empty ski trails at sunset has been worth every minute.
As I stood at the top gazing up, down, and across the valley, I realize this is the million dollar view I will remember until next year when I can see it again. The Catskills are piled up all around, 3,000 foot tall bumps and lumps, snow covered blue, purple, and white, steeply tiered and terraced with cliffs, rock ledges, dense black hemlock trees, and open leafless deciduous trees. Houses dot the mountain sides with warm yellow lights aglow in the distance, and the post card perfect northern town on the valley floor, street light, shop windows, and houses glowing welcomingly.
A chill whips through my hair blowing it in my face, making my eyes water. I inhale deeply, using belly breath. The frigid air in my lungs makes me feel ALIVE! I don’t want to come down off this mountain. Just leave me here to soak into ground, to blow away in the breeze, to blend into the still and sleeping forest, to melt into the sunset and become a permanent part of the this endless purple mountain view! My breath will be rustling leaves on a hot summer night, my laughter the roaring of rapids in the rivers and streams. My song will be the calling of birds returning in the spring and leaving again in the fall, my heartbeat the same as every newborn creature nestled close and suckling at its mothers bosom. My tears will be the rain and snow, and my blood will be the earth where everything eventually returns to be reborn. I am these mountains.