When I ski
I don’t feel tired but enlivened, always, by air and movement and the mountain. Pain is my constant companion as I grow older but somehow when I ski it sits comfortably in my back and neck and hips and doesn’t demand I pay it any mind.
I don’t wear any makeup. I don’t think about what I look like or how others might see me. I don’t style my hair or worry about wrinkles and thinning eyebrows. I want to look beautiful because I’m moving my strong body gracefully. I know I look beautiful because I’m moving my strong body gracefully.
I don’t think about what I’ll make for dinner. My to do list consists of two things: Ride the lift up, ski down. The voice in my head that loves to tell me “I must” or “I should” or “I have to” is silent. I don’t feel as if I ought to be doing something else.
I don’t check Facebook or Instagram. I don’t think about I might be missing out on or how many people are following me.
I don’t question the fact that I am strong. Instead I marvel at this body I have been given that can carry me joyfully down the side of a mountain.
I don’t forget to say thank you. It is my song, a tune I carry with me and send silently to trees and sky and bird and stone, to all that is known and unknown.
I don’t always do it well. But my reaction is almost always that I’ll do a better job on the next run. I always want to try again to be faster, sleeker, smoother, better, but I also know that on every run I’m fast, sleek, smooth, perfect.
I don’t do it perfectly.
I don’t mind the cold until I do and then I go inside and delight in the feeling of my body resting and warming.
I don’t feel afraid – mostly – and when I do I want to tame that fear or ski right into it and make it submit.
I don’t think about the future, unknowable as it is. When the past joins me it is in a peaceful way, in memories of past days spent on the mountain, of my childhood. When I ski I live inside each moment and each moment pays me a dividend of tranquility.
I don’t resist. I fly, I soar, I sail, I fall, I am free.
What makes you feel utterly at home with yourself? Are you doing it, even in the middle of the demands placed on you by children, work, life? I’d love to know.