When my daughters suggest a Saturday afternoon skiing with me, I’m immersed in that eternal list of must do, must do, as if the universe’s spin depended on my crossing out whatever rises next on the list.
Maybe I’m simply utterly annoyed at another half day of work I’ll lose again next week — no doubt in vain — seeking child support. But goodness, both teenagers want to cross country ski with me. The younger girl skies ahead, and then loops back. We ski through the woods and over streams, and then a long slow uphill through open fields. We can see all the way to Creek Road, where the bare branches of roadside maples link the sky to the snow-covered earth. Stripping off hats, sweaty, I remember again why I love Vermont’s stark and signified winter beauty, why I love Vermont’s patchwork of small farm and wild forest, why I was certain at 18 that Vermont was the place for me to live.
We ski all afternoon, passing by where our friends once lived, old farmhouse of such merriment. My older daughter talks and talks, about work and about love. At home, we cook dinner together, our cheeks beaming red with cold and happiness.
Pare Everything Down to Almost Nothing
then cut the rest,
and you’ve got
I’m trying to write.