One Friday in February I was enjoying my day off but feeling bored and restless inside the house. I had an urge to get out of town, and I remembered that the place for boots and poles was at Higgins Lake, an hour’s drive to the north. I decided to go for it – hopefully they could outfit me for skiing, and if not, I would still enjoy the drive.
I found the ski shop. The people there were friendly and had the equipment that I needed. I happened to be there on a winter festival day when the trail prices were lower and a hot dog lunch on the patio was included. I found the trail head, strapped on my ski equipment – the combination of a thoughtful gift and a lucky trip north. I started skiing on the trail, my first time on skis in many years, and found that my body remembered how to do it. The trail map – and the advice of the friendly staff -- led me to the spot in the woods where hot chocolate was available by a wood fire.
I skied a few more times in the following weeks (closer to home), and I realized two things. One was that I was unlocking a new way of enjoying my adopted home of Michigan. I skied on familiar trails where I had walked and jogged in spring, summer and fall. The beauty of winter illuminated the forest in a new light. Secondly, I realized that this winter held ideal conditions for skiing that don’t come around all that often. Being in the woods on a freshly-groomed ski trail, the air temperature 18 degrees and a light snow falling, fellow skiers would greet me and say, What a beautiful day! Now the calendar has turned to March and the weather is not so perfect for skiing. I am grateful for the time that I’ve had on skis, and I look forward to the next chance.
God of Light and Love, God of powdery snow and forests and gentle hills, hear my prayer.
May I enjoy the adventures that life offers me, with enthusiasm. May I appreciate the thoughtful gift, the helpful advice; may I appreciate the weather at every time of the year.
Rev. Andrew Frantz