Page 62 - WCM 2023 Winter Flip
P. 62

 Part IV
4:54 pm Darlene
Strange. I don’t remember how I got here, but here
I am, doing what I love doing the most, the wind in my face, the clouds ahead of me, as if I’m skiing into them, and somehow I am. The conditions are perfect and the sky is that surreal painting of pink orange blue white rosy red. The temperature is perfect, too, warm enough that I can open the top of my jacket and cold enough that the snow stays crisp yet soft, not mushy at all. I’m the only one on the mountain and I’m hitting my stride.
I can hear music, but I’m not sure where it’s coming from, in my own head it seems. It’s my current favorite song, “Halo” by Beyoncé, my music queen. Remember those walls I built? Well, baby they’re tumblin’ down and they don’t even put up a fight. They don’t even make a sound. What could be better than this? When I ski, all the walls have come down and there’s nothing, nothing in my way.
I’ve never skied like this before. Never so well, never so effortlessly, never so smoothly. This don’t even feel like fallin.’ Isn’t that what the song says? I love that song. It always makes me think of skiing.
My skis keep the rhythm with Beyoncé’s voice, swish swish turn turn halo halo. I want to drop my poles because I don’t
even need them, and as soon as I have that thought, they
are gone,
were never in my hands at all. My thinking
feels like forever flying flowing freedom. I am overwhelmed by a feeling of love and connection to everything around me. This is what birds must feel. Or angels, as Beyoncé would say. Sometimes, there’s an edge of danger when I ski, like something could go wrong at any moment, but not now. That’s all missing. All I feel is exhilaration and joy. I’m skiing downhill but soaring uphill.
Nothing looks familiar. It’s a wide trail, lined with tall pines, no rocks, no ice, perfectly groomed fresh powder and I feel like I’m the first one to ski it even though it’s dusk. How is that possible? It looks glossy but feels like pillow fluff. The snow
turns rosy pink as it reflects the sunset, pink as my coat, pink as my cheeks probably are, pink as a peony
or my dog’s pink tongue.
There is no wind, no resistance. Just me, the snow, the

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