Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
Frankly, the serendipitous nature of this prompt is wondrous to me. At press time, I find myself weekending in Sunriver with three friends. It has been a lovely, relaxing time so far and while Caitlin and I were out snowshoeing today, I realized that what consistently inspires wonder for me is snow. The beach/ocean bring me peace and a sense of calm that I have yet to find anywhere else, but snow is a wonder to me.
Technically it was last year, but the time that I felt this sense of awe the most strongly was during a breathtakingly beautiful, ass-kickingly difficult cross-country ski trip with my brother, David. The kid (apparently a more unwavering believer in my abilities than I am) had me out in the nordic back country, ultimately hauling up a 900 foot climb, with precious few minutes of daylight left. It was one of the most physically challenging things I’ve ever done, as well as one of the most exhilarating. When we got to the top and I saw the panoramic view of the Cascade mountains laid out before me, I am only the tiniest bit embarrassed to admit that I sorta burst into tears. I took a couple of short videos of the scene, babbling like an idiot and using the word “amazing” no less than eight times.
With my trip home for Christmas rapidly approaching, I am getting positively giddy at the thought of this year’s version of the ski trip. There are plenty of firsts in life that cannot be recaptured. The sense of wonder from an inaugural experience is often gone all too soon. I am fairly confident though that no matter how often I climb that mountain, I’ll feel the same way each time.