Feb 11, 2008

Ah....The Mountains!

Everyone needs a little holiday every now and then. So once the Snowflake Ball and the Burns Night events were done, I determined that I should get away for a little while and take a holiday. Rather than searching for warmer climates, I decided to take advantage of the cold and head to the mountains where I might find even cooler, more crisp air. And SNOW! I do love to ski.

Thankfully, the last minute details of ensuring that Loch Avie is cared for, and that the distillery, MI5, and the Academy training grounds are monitored came together quite nicely. Lady Kate Nicholas has volunteered to mind the distillery for me as well as tend to the day-to-day needs of Nellie and the Loch. She has been working on a water pumping and filtration system for the distillery anyway, so this seemed like not too much of an imposition on her.

Colonel Somme with his new Lancers riding gear.

Colonel Somme, Commanding Officer of the Caledon First Lancers, came by to offer his assistance, and I was pleased to take him up on it. He and Lt. Colonel O'Toole will assist by having the Lancers patrol the Loch on a little more frequent basis, and will ensure - along with Sir Telemachus - that the Academy training grounds are safe and maintained. I also have made arrangements with a few of my operatives to keep MI5 running smoothly in my absence.

Once I completed the details with Lady Kate and Colonel Somme, I had a little time to make my rounds and to wait on the water taxi, which would ferry me to the waiting airship.

I truly look forward to my time in the mountains. The beauty of them renews my soul as does that first run in the morning. That run in which my skis make the first tracks in the virgin snow, and all that may be heard is the schooshing of my skis, the soft falling of snow, and the sounds of nature.

a skiing poem by Jim Vaughn

The landscape, surrounded by whispers of snow, and the occasional glimmer of dancing sunlight, as it kisses the clouds.

Standing before me, beckoning me, like the siren’s call, of the ancient mariner.

Drawing me out, upon the steep pitch, coaxing me ever closer to the abyss of pleasure.

I ascend into the chute, careening like a bowling ball, thrown downward, bouncing, picking up speed by the second.

I stick my pole, deep into the virgin snow, which had yet to be tracked that day.

Feeling it sink, then suddenly take hold, I turn, and before my eyes, is the euphoric rush, of seeing nothing but the trees, entrenched into the rock wall, like centurions poised to repel attack.

The ski’s under my feet become weightless, I hang ever so delicately, in the sweet embrace of gravity.

I feel the air rushing around me, the kaleidoscope of colors, that once, was the rock wall, flashes by.

My eyes begin to focus, forever it seems, I’m free of the restraints that bind me to the earth.

Abruptly, my descent stops, jarred back into reality, my legs start pumping again, I slide into the next turn, and start the whole process over again.