Looking the Wrong Way

The snow that fell on the backside of the rain was a disappointment; two inches at best, a scant blanket that barely covered the ice-encrusted ground. Yet the texture was silky and pleasing underfoot, so I strapped on my skis and headed for the long, sloped field across the mountain road. It was late in the afternoon, and I skied as the light changed, noticing that the transition felt like someone draping fine layers of gauze over the lens of the sun, one layer after another, the layers coming more rapidly as the day wore out.

From the height of the field I looked back across the road, over the church steeple, to our barn tucked into the fold of a hill. How many times I’ve stood in the barnyard, looking to the field, to the precise spot I now stood, and it was strangely unsettling to stand there now, seeing everything in reverse, looking the wrong way through a window I always thought offered only one view.

The light was leaving fast now, no space between the strips of gauze, the snow covered field luminescent in the gathering dark. I pointed my skis straight down the slope and pushed off. The cold air bit at my face; the snow hissed beneath my skis. If I hurried, I might still do chores without a headlamp.

4 thoughts on “Looking the Wrong Way”

  1. Sounds like a great way to end the day. We had similar weather here – a crazy 60 degree day with drumming rain when we went to bed on Friday, then waking up to a covering of snow. Not enough for a ski here, but made for a beautiful white hike in the woods. Been thinking about your 25 degree below day while we’re a bit cold here at a balmy 18. Thanks for sharing the view.

  2. I love how you notice and then are able to write what you notice. Like NC, through your words, I can see, feel, hear and smell the scene. Of course, I’ve lived that scene myself and I suppose that helps. I wonder what a person who has never lived this would think? Would they understand it, too?

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