Dear Curiosity Journal,
I observe how the scarcity of snow has deepened my appreciation, even celebration of its arrival. Snow, it seems, just isn’t guaranteed anymore, so I feel obligated to play in the drifts when the opportunity falls from the sky. Filled with winter zeal and over ambition, I decide to break a new trail out to the eastern border, down to the pond and across the open fields. In the curvature of the southern slope, I need to do long distance “high knees” to keep my skis above the massive mounds and my hip flexors burn with fatigue. I’m grateful no one is watching, as I’m sure the spectacle looks less like skiing and more like an unsophisticated struggle to stay upright. Balio adds injury to insult by intermittently standing on the back and front of my skis, sending me lurching forward. I pause to catch my breath, and muse on the pitch-perfect metaphors of the natural world, how we use phrases like “breaking trail” to describe our encounter with nature. One definition is “To create a path through deep snow or overgrown terrain by walking or skiing, often done by the first person in a group”. We use similar terms like “trailblazing” to refer to our career advancements, pushing the envelope, and impacting a paradigm shift. However, the often unobservable struggle of the first person breaking trail is full of fatigue and frustration. When I returned, thoroughly flustered, Rufus asked, “How was your ski?” When I responded, “Not that fun” he replied, “Yeah, I heard you screaming in the valley” and I thought, there’s another ample metaphor for us trailblazers, courageously carving out our own path, just screaming into the valleys.