For my son.

16 01 2013

In some ways, the memory of the birth of my firstborn child is so fresh it hurts. And in other ways it is so foreign and removed and so long ago that it is like a story I am telling that isn’t really mine, as if I am recounting a movie plot or a book I read.

Did I really do that? Grow a child and give birth, primal and bloody? Did I actually nurse him and marvel day in and day out at his emerging chubbiness and funny faces? Was his hand actually able to fit in the palm of mine? Was his first utterance of  “mama” as full of love and sweetness and breathtaking innocence as I imagine it was?

He is turning 14 in two days. He is now two inches taller than me. He gives me the side eye when I go for a fist bump. We laugh a lot, we drive one another crazy. He is a true teenager in all his loud music and sarcasm and angst and moodiness, but still with a surprising need for heartfelt mothering every now and then. He creates his art with subtle ease, sketches of dragons appearing on the paper like medieval dreams poured from his soul. He is nothing like I expected he would be and everything I wanted but never knew I did.

With all the days gone by now swept into the recesses of my mind, I find myself not regretting the passage of time with too much bitterness. Rather I find myself feeling lucky and joyous that I was privileged enough to experience all of this. All of this: the  joy and precious moments and frustration and exuberant kisses and true deep love. And what keeps me grounded and not frivolous in my sadness of time gone by is that no matter what, I will always get to be his mother. It will never be taken from me. My baby will forever be mine in my heart. And I can only hope that the experience of being his mother will be mine for years and years to come. So that I can witness his growth into whoever he may become.

And that will always be enough for me.

Happy birthday Nick.

The marriage of sun and cold

12 01 2013

The light was shining on the peaks of White Queen but as we rounded the corner, we see Ymir Bowl still in the shadows of a low rising winter sun. The snow was lit up from within, beaming white and golden, proudly showing off those back country ski swoops down chutes and bowls. From a distance, these tracks are effortless, lazy and undulating in their pattern, belying the efforts of the skiers who hiked up the mountains  to carve them. Offset by a winter sky, a pure blue surrounds the mountains, a blue that evokes distant memories of me as a child laying on my back looking up into the endless sky never caring how cold it was.

Oh, it was cold today. -17. That kind of cold that cuts into your lungs, frosts up your eyelashes and numbs your toes instantly. Yet we found ourselves seeking the sunshine in spite of the cold. Wiggling our toes and fingers on the lifts to bask in the winter beams. Solar therapy.

The crystals rise up and swirl and hover, sparkling in the light. Between each snow-cloaked tree, untouched powder begs to be skied upon, as our breath fogs away from us, asking the crystal snowflakes to dance. The cold sucks all moisture away, creating a dry snow that puffs away from our skis. We float on the powder, we ski on clouds.

Our toes cry for mercy, thumbs go numb. Cheeks and noses are rosy. Hot chocolate and tea are mandatory supplies these cold ski days.

Still, we see smiles, hear laughter. Off in the glades, unseen, we hear hoots and hollers of utter joy. The cold doesn’t stop any of us, here on the hill.

The sunshine makes its way down along the slopes, buttering up the snow, gently warming it in slight tones. The packed powder runs are softened up. There is no sound as we ski. Only our breath in our ears.

It is heaven on Earth, it is the never-ending quest of pure joy. It is burning thighs and happy hearts and cold, cold snow.

Wanton indulgence

8 01 2013

The curse of Woman is not the monstruating nightmare that happens monthly. It is guilt, the rampant guilt stomping around our brains, yelling at us if we dare to put ourselves first, that keeps many of us from self-indulgent activities.

The lure of divine chocolate dancing on our tongues is met with internal scorn of a caloric measure. A hot bubble bath ten minutes past the usual length leads to curious knocking on the door and inquiries of your possible death by bubbles. Sleeping in on a Saturday? Tsk tsk. Aren’t we meant to be frying up bacon and eggs for the others in our home? Heaven forbid we put ourselves first, and though we try, many of us are met with our own inner judgement.

It’s a true melting pot of cause and effect.

I admit I am my own worst enemy. When I sit to write, I fret about the laundry. When I sit to read, I worry what my husband will say if he sees me idle and not working around the home.

Try and let that guilt go I say to myself! But it isn’t that easy. I have children, a part time job, a busy husband, a house to upkeep, food to cook, gardens to weed, my body to exercise. And there is nothing wrong with my “duties” in my life. But I feel sapped and drained if I don’t feed my soul with my own wanton desires of indulgences.

And so today I dedicated my day to ME. I *gasp* had a bath and then went back to bed after my kids and husband left for the day. At first I felt squirmy and out of sorts, the guilt rising in me about the endless multitudes of things I could be doing. But the lure of my book and my (sorry) epic cramps begged me to give in. I did. I fought the guilt and gave in to my desire to do nothing.

And it felt so damn good.

Hello again.

7 01 2013

Sometimes an idea for a blog post jumps into my brain and hangs around nagging me until I sit in front of my keyboard and type away. The lovely surprise for me is how the words just pour out and later, as I read back and self-edit, I am a little shocked and proud at the pretty turns of words and evocative phrases that I had created. Ego? Perhaps. But for the most part I fret about how little talent I actually have and how audacious I can be at times to say that yes, I can write and perhaps write well. I worry that no one really wants to read what I write and they only click Like on my facebook link to appease my attention-seeking side. Do they roll their eyes a wee bit? There there, Kris, they say. Stop clogging up my feed with your incessant babble I imagine they mutter….

But whatever, I say to myself. I don’t write to please anyone but my own inner spirit. At least that is what I tell myself. Who doesn’t love a genuine compliment about something they are proud of? I pluck away from time to time on a story that I have been working on for a couple of years now. I read back and I like it. I really think that it would be a book I might buy if it were written by someone else. But that inner demonic fear of failure and not being good enough sure can have a loud enough voice to convince me otherwise.

WRITE said a friend to me last night in a message. WRITE!!!

And so, I will.

I need to write, to flex my creative muscles in my head. I love to jot down a sentence that appears magically in my mind. Like for instance, the other day on the chairlift at Whitewater, I breathed in deep and marveled at the scent of the air. How can snow have a scent? But it was there, faint and gentle, cloaked in cold, and gently feathered with the sweet tang of alpine spruce. The silence of the mountain only served to enhance this scent somehow, so delicate it might not even be real. I breathed in, wishing to magnify it and make it more tangible. Yet the delicacy and nuance of that elusive fragrance is what made it so beautiful. How fleeting it was, this magic. How fortunate I felt to experience it.

And so, I write.

PS…. Thanks Jenny. For your words of support and a wee kick in the ass. 🙂