Dear Curiosity Journal,
Balio waits impatiently as I struggle to clip into my skis. I fuss with my boot with cold fingers and he rolls back and forth in the snow and paws excitedly at the tip of my ski. “Hold your horses, B! I’m trying to get my skis on as fast as I can!” When I finally make forward motion, he whips around and sprints down the hill ahead of me, thrashing through deep powder, sending a flurry of flakes flying in his wake. I slide down into the valley behind him, taking in the fullness of the freshly fallen snow. I quickly warm up from the effort of breaking trail through the sweeping drifts and climbing the first hill. I marvel at our body’s ability to self-heat with motion, recalling how the Kickapoo Valley Forest School kids understand at a young age that playing more actively keeps you from getting too cold. What a wonderful natural phenomenon! I dip into the white pine forest, where the shade and stillness cause an invigorating coolness to settle on my skin. The air feels softer or more dense here, where I like to envision inhaling and exhaling, exchanging my essence for that of the evergreens.