Hard to Explain














Staring down through four dimensions of joy. Snow falling, snow having fallen, potential energy and the knowledge of the indescribable joy to come.

The immediacy of the moment is deafening, even in the downy quiet of the semi-wooded mountain side.

We know what awaits, for this terrain has been skied before. Small trees become large trees. Large trees give way to the meadow. The meadow is filled with rocks. The rocks are covered with snow. Skiable snow.


Why do we return to this place? There are other mountains. Other woods. Other rocks. True, we have skied many of them. Somehow, we return here. Maybe we understand that the location is less meaningful than the feeling, though the feeling in turn is enhanced by the location. The surrounds. The vista.

Even though we have skied this hill time and time again, the experience is always different. A surfer may ride the same break for her entire life. But the feeling is relative to the day. A reflection of one’s inner place, subjective to what the wave may represent. A quick escape. A place of refuge. A place to find your inner dialogue. A place to meet friends.

So it is with the hill. We are looking through a door. A door to feeling, a door to experience, a door to memories yet to be. Future tales of past greatness. About to be lived. We know that only good lies behind the door. But the complexity of the feeling is relative to the world around us.


Still, a bad day can be made right with the conditions that we now eye. Hell, a bad winter can be made right with the potential that lies before us now. Because once you drop into the feeling, nothing else comes close.

Near my house, on a windswept prairie reaching back into the void of pre-mankind and home to the creature that inhabited this time, I will see birds playing. Great birds and small birds alike. Facing westward, into the wind. Flying while standing still, and all with a view of the crags beyond, the very source of the currents that they now ride. It is clear that even these kestrels, these starlings, these goshawks are having fun. Taking a piece of nature and molding it into endorphins through slight of hand, muscle memory on the soles of our feet, a stance that is summoned through past recollection met with the collective knowledge of moving through deep snow. Like the raptor facing the west wind, like the surfer at the whims of the break.

Snow is falling, softly. We are prepared to unleash a torrent of snow rising, blowing, smoking. The dichotomy of a quiet wooded hillside met with the muscular and emotional release inherent in our riding of the clouds’ bounty. Into the mystic, the sugar, the champagne. In our mind’s eye, time slows down. I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul. To an observer, we may seem like a rocket fired just below the snow’s surface, steady and smooth, and trailing an oblivion left to settle softly back down to the white blanket beneath.


But to us, we have entered another dimension. Transcended. Everything stops, then shifts… then stops again. All thinking is postponed at the mercy of the ever present sensation bubbling up below us. It is time to drop. Life is about to enter the stratosphere.

Le Rouge turns, and grinning, sums up what the word smith’s mind has trouble summarizing. Says Red, with a grin;

“It’s hard to explain.”



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