Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Snow in NJ

Friday the snow fell, and I sat at the computer, with the frustrating thought of not being able to ride my bike. I heard some laughter, and when I went to the window, the neighbor’s daughter lay in the snow, arms and legs flapping. She made the shape of a tiny purple angel. It looked so simple and she so happy. There is something special about snow near Christmas…. kids making snowmen and snow angels, smiles and laughter are in the air. When and how did I loose that feeling inside me?

Sunday morning I was headed back up to Harriman for another XC Ski with my cycling buddies, that I secretly call “Team AARP Extreme”. The weather was not looking great, as the snow had turned to rain by the time we left the house. Half way up, it turned back to snow. I was half expecting an abbreviated ski, but I don’t call these guys extreme for nothing. They know how to ride with what’s thrown at them and make something good of it, and so snow fun is what we were going to find.

Starting in warmer than expected temps, the guys called a re-wax. Now dealing with some sticking, we forged up hill to where we found better snow. Temps were dropping and the snow was falling hard. Gliding along, it was beautiful indeed. At one point it was snowing hard and became dark and ominous, but yet silent with only the sound of my breath. Each cold crystal against my face reminded me of being alive, and gave me strength to forge on.

Before we got back, the sun peeked out and I found myself striding in rhythm with my shadow. Down the long hill with the sun on my cheek, I was smiling inside. I ducked under the last log and found myself gliding right into the sun down a tunnel of pricker bushes. The ski tracks caught the glimmer of the afternoon sun like a pair of ribbons. The bushes sparkled like Christmas trees. It was a magical sight and made me feel more like five than fifty. It was a perfect ending to a pre-Christmas ski.

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