Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Dreamy Day

^ Five fir trees stand bold and tall against the misty background, lending to the dreamy quality of the snowy landscape.

Yesterday was a dreamy kind of day at Stevens Pass. See, it's springtime down in the lowlands of home, where the grass is green, the daffodils are in bloom and the weeds are growing in gleeful abandon. But up at the pass, winter is still in full force. The frigid mountain air was thick with fluffy snowflakes and the ground was covered with a luscious white blanket of fresh. That odd contradiction always makes me feel like I've just stepped out the back of the wardrobe into the wintery world of Narnia, which is a dream-inducing sensation indeed.

As I settled into the ever-enjoyable skier's rhythm of racing down the runs and trails, then riding silently up back up to the top, I began to reminisce about my passion for skiing and how it all began. Interestingly enough, it started with a dream.

^ The path leads that way, down through the trees and into the foggy beyond. 

^ Just a few tracks have been laid in this precious fresh powder.

Picture me as a teenager in the great state of Michigan. The city boys who spent summers water-skiing with us country girls on our lake were also avid alpine skiers during the winter. Well. My girlfriends and I were not about to let them get too far ahead of us. Luckily, we happened to have our own little man-made "mountain" just five miles from home, so after a few seasons of dreaming, we got to work on our parents' wallets and soon found ourselves in possession of season passes and a basic load of starter gear. We also convinced the city boys to give us our first lessons. Mission accomplished.

^ Two adorable little girls hopped the chair in front of me, and I daydreamed about them as I followed them up through the flake-filled sky and up to the top.

Years later, when the demands of college, then career, and then a passel of sweet little children entered my life, I had to lay my skiing passions aside for a while. Especially after I moved here to the Pacific Northwest, where skiing in real mountains is within reach, my soul mourned during the winter months. I dreamed longingly of the day when I might find a way to return to the slopes with my young 'uns in tow.

But wouldn't you know that when the time came that I felt ready to take the whole brood of them up to the snow, money became a limiting issue. Unexpectedly, a short-term part-time job fell into my lap and provided exactly the cash I needed to gear us all up. And to top off my good fortunes, our lives crossed paths with a bounty of like-minded families who also loved to ski and ride. They provided much of the encouragement and support that I needed to get back to skiing after a 22-year hiatus, and that was an unbelievable dream come true.

^ Peek-a-boo view to the blanketed basin beyond.  

^ This is my favorite trail through the woods. Every time I slide silently toward its mysterious opening curve, I get a thrill of excitement for what is to come.

Which led me to thinking about my most recent skiing-related dream. I always knew the day would come that my daughters would no longer be children but busy young adults whose lives led them away from our weekly trips to the mountain. And for many years, I dreamed that somehow, I would find a way to keep going, even if it meant skiing alone. This season, that dream has also come true and I'm honestly as surprised as I am grateful.

Somewhere in the midst of sorting through these skiing dreams, I got caught up in dreaming about dreaming itself.

Dreaming is easy.It's natural. It's part of what makes us human. But in order to actually make a dream come true, I've discovered that it's an ongoing process of:
  • Imagining my wildest desires for the future.
  • Understanding how today's reality gets in the way of the dream.
  • Figuring out how to break down the obstacles.
  • Making a long-term commitment to the dream. They don't happen overnight, you know.
  • Every single day, doing something - anything! - to move one step closer toward the goal.
  • Saving money. Dreams always seem to require money. 
And perhaps most of all, I've learned to invite my emotions along for the ride. Dreams require a curious balance of patience and persistence, but they are ultimately fueled by passion. My dreams have taken me on a wild roller coaster of emotion, mystery, and surprise, and on this snowy day of dreaming, I'm thankful for every twist and turn along the way.

^ My head is full of dreams. They are almost as plentiful as the snowflakes in my hair.

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More stories from my 2013-2014 adventures at Stevens Pass? Comin' right up:

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