A fox cries as I skin upward – Vox Clamantis in Deserto – it's haunting call echoing across the valley, richochetting off mountain sides. The only sound in the morning, other than the slish-slish of my skis working their way up the mountain, my own breathing, my heartbeat in the chest. My dog, practically a wolf, slithers beside me, smelling the ground, following trails, senses attunded to the world around her, a link between the modern world and the ancient, primordial one of fire and hunger. The big mountains loom, the very backbone of the North American Continent, shaped by glaciers, inviting, yet forboding at the same time. Overhead, a bird circles thermals in the mild winter morning air. A hawk perhaps, or an altitude loving raven. And upward I go, always upward, in a rhythm, twelve days into the ski season now, on the mountain.
The daily pattern. This is not a vacation. This is the mundane, life before work. I've come to the realization that all along I have chosen the path less travelled, and it is good.