I ran into a guy 702 days ago, and while I wouldn’t say it’s because of him, some how 679 days past between the last two days I went snowboarding. Prior to that, I don’t believe I ever made it to 180 days without getting my quality time in with a snow covered mountain.
Thirty five days ago we parted ways, but Time of Death wasn't officially recorded until one day ago.
Naturally, a person would take some time to reflect on the end of a chapter, and all the changes that it saw. It was during my reflection that I realised the unpleasant feelings that I was processing I was guilty of inflecting on the mountains I used to declare as my One True Pairing.
So to my dear mountains, I am deeply sorry.
I look back on how 679 days of neglect were able to pass, and I know the biggest reason for it was that I took a year and half break from the workforce. With finite funds, I cut out all expenditure I deemed extravagant and not 'life essentials'.
While the extended separation from the mountain hurt a lot during the first two snow seasons, I was at the same time growing a new love and slowly the distance from the snowy mountains began to hurt less. And so, I ended up neglecting one of my most ultimate loves.
The guilt I associate with this is deep.
In an effort to repair this relationship and cheer myself up, 15 days ago I sheepishly returned to the mountain, snowboard in hand. The mountain didn’t appear angry, it was welcoming. It had just rolled out a brilliantly plush white carpet. It seemed like everything was going to be okay, but I quickly learnt that the natural connection we once shared was lost.
I knew when I clipped in to my battered board that my heart wasn’t there. The ride down wasn’t easy; it took concentration and work. It did not feel natural. It wasn’t fluid like it used to be and worst of all, it did not feel fun. And that is the most shameful confession I can make about this.
My body was taking the hits throughout that difficult day of riding. My reconstructed knee twisted, my boots didn’t fit my thicker calves, my toes stung from the cold that I was not used to anymore.
It felt like my heart, mind and body were rejecting what I thought was meant to be. It was confusing, concerning and upsetting.
I doubted what ‘us’ there may have been once upon a time. To the Mountain’s credit, it just kept caressing and reassuring me with loving snowflakes.
While that doubt plagued me throughout the long journey home, deep down, I had hope. I knew somewhere in the last 20 mins of riding, I felt the sparks.
Those sparks were fleeting moments where I connected and my heart skipped a beat. Where my legs swished around the contour of the run without painstaking concentration.
I know these sparks can grow back into the engulfing blaze that burned inside of me years ago. I pledge to kindle it and feed it.
It took until the end of the day to feel those brief moments of 'connection', but I got there.
And I get that it may take a lot more work still. It may be uncomfortable next time, but I get it now; it just needs more time, more effort.
And for all the mountains I have visited and the ones I'm still to see, I will persevere.
The Story of the mountains and I isn’t over yet. It may be slow going, and it may not be worth for you to follow along with, but it’s a story I’m dedicated to continue writing.