The only time I miss real winter weather is when I snowshoe or cross-country ski. The snow-laced trees, the frozen world, the blue, blue sky that holds a sun amplified again and again over ridges of white. My breath heavy and released in visible puffs, the stinging of my hot cheeks as I move through the sharp, freezing air. Traipsing uphill with that ridiculous, splayed-ski waddle.
We started out the new year on cross-country skis, and it made me long for something different. For an adventure, a new life in a new place where I could cross-country ski every day. Surely my life would never become routine or boring if only I had snow over which to cross-country ski.
This slump of longing (which was only a few steps short of a full-on pity party, and which I knew all along to be founded upon false premises) lasted for a few days after I got home to Tucson. And then, of course, I remembered how much I love this city, the desert, and my life here. I remembered the water harvesting projects I've planned around the house, the garden I'll grow, the creative life I'll make. Having plans and ambitions for the future inspires me, invests me in this place as my home. But being fully aware of the present, with all its quirks and blessings -the cats on my lap, the fridge full of food, a Gila woodpecker outside the window - that will sustain me wherever I go.
So cheers to the new year (arbitrary though it may be), to the desert, and to coming home; but most of all, cheers to this moment, the one that none of us will ever quite experience again.