The roads are bad, the snow is falling, and despite my best intention to exercise, I’ve decided I should just succumb to reading and tea-time all afternoon. The daffodils and crocus buds might be out in the island paradise I used to call home, but here in this tiny mountain town winter has just set-in. All fall it was dry with much praying for winter. High snow-line. Green riverbank. Eagles feasting on an open salmon buffet. Orange breasted songbirds out the window mirroring fall leaves settled dry on the ground. No powder. Occasional rain. Running in a t-shirt. Rock climbing in January. No cabin fever here. Over the last few months most of my work appointments have revolved around how pleased all the pregnant ladies are that it is a terrible ski year. No one wants to miss out on mountain time. Then it snowed and my midwifery skills have expanded to include the art of gently suggesting that maybe dropping large heli-lines isn’t the best after gestating for eight months. Oh Squamish. But I can’t totally say no. The powder is finally that sweet.
If you were to stand outside my balcony right now the world would appear a swirl of milky stars. A mini blizzard taking me straight back to that winter when I was four and my dad built a skating rink over the front lawn. Before my hip was a problem and my parents started publicly not getting along. Afternoons like today, and the time a week or so ago when all the lakes froze over take me right back. Total clear glass. The sound of hockey sticks and pucks bouncing off frozen-in-logs sent me away to then, from full jumpsuits and learning to skate perched over a wooden chair, to teenage friday nights at the ice rink where we would refuse to wear our coats, go in the same direction as the boys, or dare to skate fast or fall at all. Something deep in me associates this kind of weather with cozy mittens holding you safe and together with their tight string connecting left-to-right arm, with a present father, with the scent of the hot cinnamon donuts my mom once made after hours circling our tiny rink. Snow smells like hot chocolate in a paper cup with tiny plastic marshmallows and apple tea. Seasonal spice seared into the love of winter cold on my nose.
So why a Mexican meal this week? Snow doesn’t really smell like enchiladas. In fact, they continentally disagree. But, the thing with my version of winter is that it can get too nostalgic, slow, and stuck in white snow. Ski days aside, I’ve been drenched in too many hours reading on the computer and needed a long recipe project to distract and call away from all the round-about thoughts in my head. This week tortillas wrapped in Rebar’s mesa red sauce was up for the task of tugging me straight. Its not donuts, tea, or chocolate drinks, but maybe some southern heat can give you winter memory love too. (Or, if you are not in the mood to be brightened by enchiladas, there is always buying a parrot and some lemons…….). Whatever you pick, happy snow-day!