A Surrogate Ski


When I woke this morning to an inch of fresh snow and a clear sky with bright sun, I thought of my friend who got thrown by her horse last week. She is couch-bound for a long time, and in a lot of pain with some fractures and other injuries. I can’t say for sure, but I imagine her body wasn’t the only part of her aching when she looked outside this morning. We ski together sometimes, and I think when she looked out at the snow-covered junipers in the sun, her heart ached to be out there sliding through the woods on her skis.

I feel a cold coming on, and it was bitter this morning, below 20 degrees. I could have done what I did the past few snowy grey days: made coffee and sat warmly in the living room, working on the computer or reading a book. But I thought of my friend wishing she could ski and being unable, and I hauled my lazy, grateful ass out of bed, dressed, went out into the glorious morning, and snapped on my skis. With the balmy weather the past month melting what little snow we’ve had this winter, we haven’t skied in six weeks.

There is nothing graceful about me skiing through sagebrush and juniper on eight inches of crusty snow. But the dogs were thrilled and beautiful, flying away and back to me kicking up powder as I stuttered along the Typewriter Trail to the rim of the canyon and back. Snow blew from the trees in sparkles through brilliant air. She would have loved it.

I wish she could have skied today. Even immobilized, she is an inspiration. Because she would have and I wouldn’t, because I could and she couldn’t, I skied this morning. This one’s for you, neighbor.



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3 thoughts on “A Surrogate Ski

  1. Oh my, what a wonderful gift. You are so right, I looked at the beautiful snow today, thought of my brand new skis, thought about how fun it would be to ski over and go through the trees with you and the dogs. I succumbed to ill-humor. But the Pinyon Jays are building nests in the trees around the house so I watched them for an hour or so. I never do that – I would have been out skiing or shoveling snow or cleaning the garage. I remind myself of what Keb Mo sings about, God trying to get my attention. I’ve been working on quietness for a very long time so the work continues with my current bout of poah health. Our larder is overflowing with wonderful food, arriving in a steady supply from such wonderful friends. My heart is overflowing with the kindness and love we’ve received.

    If I were Rita Hines Clagett, I would know exactly what words to put on paper to describe how happy “A Surrogate Ski” made me. I’m so touched and so delighted. So so so so very delighted. Thank you, love you. Cynthia

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