Wake up

It’s cold at six thirty, but the clouds are soft. I thought to myself as I ascended into the forest behind my apartment. The sun hadn’t yet risen, but the pastel blue sky of morning reflected off the white snow in a way that mimicked light. In a clearing the lamp lined trails of Keystone caught my eye. Above it, the sky erupted.

Silence turned to symphony, as hundreds of previously unnoticed birds welcomed the morning. With an unwavering line, day consumed night. For a while I watched, in awe, as the mountainous landscape transformed from nothing more than silhouettes, to detailed rocky peaks. Breathes slowed, minutes too. A deep stretch and a long exhale. I hiked a little further.

Back toward my apartment I churned through the snow with no real urgency. A soothing warm shower and a change of clothes. I edited a few morning captures. I sipped a cup of tea.

The bus was empty, still early for some. I walked leisurely toward an unchallenged first chair. Against a pine scented breeze I rose, higher up the mountain. Click, click, click... my bindings were tight. Now onto a carpet of freshly groomed snow.

From treeline to treeline, I carved across trails, the mountain to myself. Above, the sky was now a bright blue. Below, the bright snow glittered like a sea of diamonds. I inhaled deeper.

On my way back up, I enjoyed a conversation, and back down, another admiration. I coasted into my 9:45 lesson that morning with two minutes to spare. Not wired on caffeine, or still waking up, but alert to the day, and prepared to enjoy it. And to think, I used to sleep in.