Courtesy skiloveland.com skiloveland.com
Approach of Autumnal Equinox leaves feeling of imbalance
September 2, 2008 —
At exactly 3:44 p.m. on September 22, 2008, the globe will once again reach its bi-annual position of supreme balance. That moment, the Autumnal Equinox, is the exact click of the clock when the tug-of-war between winter and summer is in perfect deadlock, the air is crisp and cool, and the length of day almost exactly equals the length of night.
And, as I learned in sixth grade from Ms. Macsata, people around the globe will be able to balance eggs upright on their kitchen tables or, as the case may be, on their sixth grade writing desks.
The balance seems to have an effect on my brain and body, too, and perhaps that’s part of the reason why autumn is, without much doubt, my favorite time of the year. Beyond the often-mentioned beauty of the changing leaves, and the scent of their decay on the forest floor, fall is also the time when the temperate most-often reaches sunny-and-60-degree perfection. It’s also hunting season for grouse, elk, and mushrooms, and probably the time when I spend the most time camping, hiking, hunting and fishing in general. Football season begins again, and once in a while the entire family will converge on grandma’s house for a Broncos game and a batch of her world-famous elk chili.
But I’m not ready for all that. I’m not ready for balance, nor to let go of hot August days or summer’s shorts-and-sandals dress code. I’m already lamenting the loss of lush greens, which won’t return again until the very, very, faraway June, and I’m not ready to plunge into the endless Christmas which signifies winter in the Vail Valley.
It’s not really autumn I’m resisting, but the winter which follows.
I know, I know, as a ski writer and a Colorado kid I’m supposed to be drooling at the bit, chomping at the thought of wintertime, when I can finally unleash my boards onto the endless acres of powder in Colorado’s high country. But that’s not how it works. It takes time, it takes transition. Many of us need a few months of autumn – preferably warm months – to remember what it is we love so much about being buried in white-ice most of our year, drying out our cold, wet socks every evening, and wrapping ourselves in heavy layers of confining clothing just to run out to get something we forgot in the car.
For me, this transition requires a few ski-movie premiers, a few hours at the Ski Swap this coming October, and a bit of time spent tuning my teles, smelling the wax of the ski-shop one more time. When Loveland and A-Basin open up this October, it will help to get out and smell the fresh air of the mountains in winter, and feel the bite of winter play against my face as I outrun the masses on the inevitably thin white ribbons of early season.
By then, I’ll be ready. As for now, my metaphorical egg remains unable to balance upright, leaning, as it does, toward the barefoot days of summer.
1 Comment on "Approach of Autumnal Equinox leaves feeling of imbalance"