Thursday, March 13, 2008

On Skiing, and other thoughts...

So I'm back. Obviously by what's been written I just haven't been in the mood to write lately. Somehow those rocky mountains just sucked the life right out of me. We've been back 3 weeks now but it has taken all this time to just screw my head on quite right and start thinking again.

Look at that landscape. Look at that beauty. I would go out on my skis, and this is what would lie before me, this vast, open landscape of white and beauty, and I could choose wherever I wanted to go. Sometimes I was with somebody, and sometimes I was alone. The sun shone every day. The trees were almost buried by all the snow. I felt very close to the heavens. I was giddy. I would push off and go.

The wind blows in my face as I go down, fast. I like to go fast, and I also like to try to make myself flow, like a dance. Sometimes I say poetry to myself, or sing a particularly rhythmic song while I ski, because it fills me with the rhythm that I need to rise up, and down, moving quietly and softly through the steepness and down to the valley below.

It is almost too much. In this isolation, alone on the hill, despite the fact that I am at a multi-million dollar, man-assisted resort, my elite sport melds with just being out there in the world. My options for solitude make me feel like part of the air. I could do this every day, I think.

I love to be on mountaintops. I can smell my daughter when I am there. I see her in the clouds, cheering for me, watching the smile on my face, and feeling proud that I have rebuilt the life that I thought I lost.

I love to be free. I think I like to be out there, on top of the world, going so fast, because it is the sharpest contrast to the absolutely grounded nature of my existence right now. In my home, surrounded by walls, my day dictated by the moods and wishes of others, versus there, on the mountaintop, deciding my route, free to fly at my own accord.

This brings me great happiness.

But that was just the trip. Somehow I returned from that trip, so full of family, love, great food, and of course, the skiing, and then 8 days later loaded my kids back on the airplane headed for Alabama, to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends and her three beautiful daughters. This trip was about being home in Alabama. It was about our five children (should be six) running around the house together, shrieking with laughter, and us catching each other's eye and thinking about that day 26 years ago when we stood next to each other in the line in first grade. I booked the tickets for Alabama when I realized I had 3 weeks left until Aoife turned 2 and needed a paid seat. So off we went.

I remember when Kathleen (above friend in Alabama) was pregnant with her second child, Quinn, and she had just gotten her ultrasound. It was my due date. I came home and listened to my answering machine. Kathleen is the type of person who always likes to know exactly what she is getting. So she says, "Looks like I am having another girl. So I am calling to tell you that it would be really great if you could produce a girl so they could be best friends like us". And so, eight days later, I did produce a girl. The sweetest little girl I'd ever seen. But she never had a friend.

Liam loved Quinn. They are only 8 months apart. They raced around, played games, dressed up, and listened to her older sister Dacey read "Green Eggs and Ham". She is a doll. I adore her. There is nothing about Quinn I don't love, but I think the thing I love the most about her is that she would have been my daugher's engineered best friend. When Quinn was born, I could hardly call Kathleen because I was so afraid I would hear her baby cry. Now, I smile to see the beauty of Quinn's smile and I wonder if my daughter helped to choose such a vibrant, delicious soul to my best friend to be her second daughter.

It is so nice how gentle time is to the soul. Patience does pay off.

And oh? The nicest thing that the gods and great spirits did, to make us feel better about that, was to send us two more little girls, two and a half years later, born only 4 days apart. As Aoife says, "My best friend Reagan." Here they are.

Such fun.

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