Moving, in the dark cold of predawn. A (heartbreakingly beautiful) winter day waiting to break. The mountain ridge ahead becoming just discernable, etched against the darkness of the night sky. The nightday daynight so clear that it strips you bare, opens you up to the world. The rhythmic sound of my footfalls in synchony with my flowing breath.  The crunch of the snow beneath my feet, the cold air like ice on my face, the feel of my eyelashes as the tears start to freeze. The river flowing gently by my side, the growing ice muting sound to a trickling murmur. Moving, in the dark cold of predawn.

I’ve missed this.

The smooth glide of my skis beneath me.  A slow climb up the side of the falling river. Alone. But, not lonely, just enveloped by the nature surrounding me. Beyond the abandoned village and upwards. All effort under my own power. What a feeling of freedom. And as the day slowly dawns, the light in the sky gets stronger and stronger as I get higher and higher.  Until I’m level with the summits all around. A beautiful place, a beautiful sky, reminding me why I need to get ‘high’. Turn around: and then falling like a bird out of the sky, flying curves etched in the snow. Until the 2hrs of uphill effort is returned with 10 minutes of downhill skiing. And, I’m left at the end of  a dream, forced to face the rest of my day.

I’ve missed this.

Moving, into the darkness of the falling night. Snow falling gently. My footfalls scuffing through the powder. The heavy clouds like a blanket all around shielding me from the world. Shutting out everything but my moving into the darkness of the falling night.

I’ve missed this.

But can we trust our bodies to hold up to the will of our heart and head? Are sensations the same as pain? Is the stress fracture really fully healed? To be moving again means so much. But, is the body fully ready for the long, slow road back to form and fitness. We have to trust, and we have to hope, but however long it takes, man will I be thankful for every step I take.

Perception: the act of apprehending by means of the senses or the mind; understanding; insight; intuition; discernment.

Perspective: the state of existing in space before the eye; the state of one’s ideas.

Injury and health. Perception and perspective.

Perception and perspective.  As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nothing is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in itself. It just ‘is’. Snow: might be great for a skier, terrible (or at least unwanted) for a runner looking for rocky trails. But snow is neither good nor bad in itself. Our experience of it depends entirely on what we make it. On our perception and perspective. An incredibly empowering thought.  Because that then means that we have the power to ‘colour’ our experiences, which means we can live the life that we choose. If we choose to?

maybe. or maybe not.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
— Henry David Thoreau

getting higher

getting higher
© Lizzy Hawker

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