A Pasion for Winter . . . . Nov / Dec 99
A Passion
for Winter

from the Novemeber/December 1999 issue


Winter rides out of the West on a white horse of storm and cloud and snow, reins in over the Elk mountains of central Colorado and camps. Home again. The color white, which is both colorless and all colors, begins to color our life. Reality follows the bears into hibernation and the Rocky Mountains wakes up to a colder, cleaner, crisper vision of themselves.

Snow settles out of the sky like a blessing, always on time, always unexpected, a cold blessing we’re not sure we deserve, and can’t live without.

Winter winds the world’s clock to start the year anew. The earth’s wounds covered and healed by a salve of snow, the clutter of cars and commerce slowed and simplified by barriers of snow, the noise of the late twentieth century hushed by a blanket of snow, tomorrow’s errands postponed, tomorrow’s schedule rewritten by an overnight dump of snow. If winter is rebirth - and it is - then each winter works like a bonus in our lives: a new start, a second, a third, a fourth chance to get it right, to match the purity of our intentions, of our actions, to the purity of new snow. A mountain without tracks. A new canvas waiting for the new lines that will define a new day, a new you, a new me.

Skiers have always known this. Aspen has always known this. Skiers have always played a winter game of snow and space and grace: sliding and gliding, cold air, adrenalin, gravity. The world has changed but winter is a constant. Fashion has changed but winter is beyond fashion. Skis and skiing, lifts and lodges have all changed, but winter is neither skis nor skiing, lifts nor lodges. Winter is still simple and sudden and surprising. Winter mountains just as silent. New snow just as sensual.

Rocky Mountain winter, white on white, year on year, peak on peak. Winter is a white answer to questions that have no answers.    A Pasion for Winter . . . . Nov / Dec 99
© Lito Tejada-Flores
This short welcome to winter is adapted
from a piece I first wrote for Aspen magazine.

Clearing Storm
Elk Mountains, Aspen, Colorado
photo © Burnham Arndt