Sunset Ski

A short, clean, metal ‘click’ closes the door. Stepping outside, sound is open, still.  It’s been snowing, it’s cold.  I’m standing by our car, still snuggling under a car port roof piled high with insulating snow.  Nordic skis land softly by my feet.  A short, soft, metal ‘clunk’ closes the bindings over my boots and I’m off. 

Down the drive, over what’s left of the pavement curb, all’s swaddled in white so I swoosh down the untracked road, past parked hibernating cars.  Climbing steadily up the footbridge gentle slope, our flood-lit cement works slip by off to my right and then, over the dual carriageway, there’s a slide down the other side towards the golf course.  Now, I feel I’m gliding!

Dull?  Not today: golfing greens, fairways, manicured grass have at last surrendered, finally given way to Champagne light, beautifully soft, curvaceous (evocative), drifting snow, stretching to a sky-meets-tree top horizon, transformed, transfigured, masquerading as Arctic tundra! Why not, it’s now so convincing. 

Here, at 60˚ North I’m already where days are short and longing for light is long; it’s minus whatever, snow crystals shining persistently in suspended sunbeams, wind lateral and eyes fixed forward.  Just a few hundred metres to the other side of the golf course, I think I’ll make it though my cheeks might freeze; ‘keep off the greens’ signs now redundant, for these few minutes I’m an intrepid explorer, adventurer, sallying forth where no domestic Daddy has ever been before.  Really, I am!  Boy, I must be strong and courageous; this is exactly what it looks like on TV, and I feel great 😉

Thomas Jelley

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