Last year at this time I was deep in the tunnel of treatment---I dreamed about doing two things--snorkeling and skiing. I imagined myself at the top of Purgatory Ski Resort on a bright sunny day with perfect snow and skiing like the wind down the mountain. Shussing on West Bank, Sa's Psych, Demon, Boogie and Peace and all the other runs I have been skiing since winter of my 7th grade year. I would wake in the night feeling dreadful and I would put myself on skis on perfect snow in my mind and say to myself, "Next year I will be skiing." We had had to hand in our season passes last year for a refund. This year I skied. I went skiing on December 21 and 23 in snowy snowy conditions in a foot of powder and on December 24 on that classic SW Colorado winter day with bright sun and perfect groomed trails. To my surprise and relief I have actually not lost any of my ability and may have gotten better. To my surprise I am not fearful.
That really surprised me--you see, when you have something truly life threatening happen to you all you want to do is grab those you love most and hold onto them for dear life, keep them safe from harm and hide away in the dark just loving them.
Also I found myself fearful of any risk at all. But not on skis. On skis I am brave and free and flying. I am in the awe of these magnificent mountains that have soothed and comforted and welcomed me my whole life. Being in the awe is vital to truly feeling at home in the world.
On the first day skiing my legs were burning at the end and I was exhausted but when we got into the club and got the boots off I relaxed and ate. After that I excused myself to go to the lovely bathroom where I danced and jumped up and down like a little kid.
We must find the things that bring us joy. My acting teacher was always talking to me about getting out of my head and into my body...those of you who have ever spent time acting really know what I am talking about...Scenes and plays would sometimes find me off stage doing pushups or jumping jacks before I went on so I would react emotionally and without thinking about it. So I must find the physical that brings me joy. Remember I wrote about my tap dancing dream? That was a dream about pure physical joy...Skiing for me is pure physical joy and it brings me peace in my heart and soul much like yoga does.
I can't wait to see what it is like to go snorkeling again...to be in the water and free and floating and searching out all the fish.
Mountains to me always fed my soul--I hear my dad's quote in my head right now, "I think I am in the world to find pleasure in the lonely places." I may not have it word for word but you get the gist. The last few days of skiing I have found myself skiing almost alone. C and I and an instructor and empty glades down the mountain. Tomorrow when we go will be more crowded. I told my instructor that he wouldn't teach anyone happier to be here than me!
The girls got up and opened presents--we opened presents...It is a merry Christmas for this family.
Merry Christmas everyone---find your joy and get out into the awe of the day!!!