Life in the high country has proven to be predictably unpredictable. The perfect mix of sunshine and rain, snow and clouds. Or something like that. You never know what each day has in store as the seasons change, which is exciting and interesting. It’s hard to be bored by the wilderness that surrounds you and the sky that hovers over head. In recent weeks, the autumn color has been coming and going with the falling and melting of snow. Snow floats down on us about twice a week. Two beautiful days per week, where it feels like the world is a mere spec of dust and everything on it is made of magic. These are my favorite days.
I find some kind of comfort in the bleak and vast landscape covered by snow. There is a serene joy to all of it. The crisp air and that ever familiar winter scent fill me with gratitude and hope.
At home, it feels as if we are on some strange holiday that is life. The only times I’ve known the high mountains in winter are times where I was on a trip, or celebrating some kind of thing worthy of a cabin stay. It feels odd to wake up at 4am and wander into our tiny kitchen. Looking out the window to see icicles and mountains and so much snow. Is this real life?
I don’t know that that feeling will ever get old.
Often times, I say how grateful I am to be in this situation. And then I wonder how that comes across; as bragging, or pretentious or something. If that’s the case, it’s not what I mean. I find that people do things and live lifestyles that are out of the ordinary and they act as though it’s totally normal. Like, “oh yeah, I just live in this van that cost $150,000 to build out, no big deal!” Or “yeah I just quit my job to travel and be free, not a problem!” When that’s not really the truth so much. The truth is that those things are unattainable to most people unless you were extremely lucky, come from a lot of money or worked your ass off. Or a mix of those things. Living an “ideal” or “niche” life is never ever a simple sort of thing.
And I never want to lose sight of that. I talk about our living situation the way I do because it’s been a big struggle to end up here. And I don’t think it will ever be possible to take it for granted. With each passing day, it’s not once felt normal to be living amongst the mountains I dreamt about my whole life. When I’m hanging laundry or walking to town to get mail, I never think about how ordinary those tasks are. It’s all surreal.
These snowy days have really turned that surreal vibe up a notch.
I look forward to the days when we snowshoe to get mail or are totally snowed in with drifts up to our windows. With a fire crackling in the stove and a hot pot of coffee making the rounds.
The reality of all that staggers me.
Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors