Words by Mark Rauschenberger
Winter’s metamorphosis into spring is the annual closing of a favorite chapter in the book we call life. We are forced to set aside our skis and find other outlets through which we may channel our energy for the next several months. As this period wears on, our souls grow weary and yearn for a dose of snow.
With the heat of summer finally subsiding, the suspense for winter reaches a fever pitch. Deciduous foliage begins to blaze with autumn and the subsequent falling leaves usher in a time of intense excitement. On a crisp, clear night we gather with our brethren beneath a sea of stars for a sacrificial burning. Skis, battered and beaten from years of abuse, are built into a pyre. The silence of the evening is broken by a collective howl as the fire ignites. The dancing flames begin to cast their spell. Mesmerized, we stand together. We drink and we smoke. We tell stories of winters passed and make plans for the winter ahead, all the while hoping that our burning planks are enough to put us in the good graces of the snow gods.
The stoke from this night will have to carry us through the first few snowfalls when mother nature transforms herself by donning a veil of crystalline white. Eventually these sleepless nights will be replaced with early mornings. Races to the mountain and that unmistakable white noise of the spinning chairlift will finally become our reality. Until then we wait, rife with anticipation, for that magical first day when the whole cycle begins again.
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