I was in Harbin for the ice festival this weekend (ill post on at some point because it was mind-blowing again). And if you have ever heard of this place you will understand that it’s a comfortable -30 degrees which means no matter how tough you think you are there are some clothing requirements.
There’s a specific noise ski pants make when you walk, the chafing of the fabric against itself. Last night while I was walking back to my room after a hot pot dinner in an igloo, followed by a few gluweins and shots of vodka in the ice bar, my wife turned to me and said, ‘I really miss this sound.’ in reference to the pants. If you haven’t been skiing or don’t know what I mean you will think I’ve gone slightly off my rocker but bare with me!
All of a sudden a whack of memories came rushing back. You see for as long as I’ve been alive my family has been privileged enough to go skiing together once a year. It’s a tradition my grandparents had and one of the greatest ones my family have. Obviously with growing families, spread across the world it becomes harder and harder. Kids can’t get out of school, it’s far too travel, there’s work etc etc. I haven’t been for two years now.
All of sudden I missed the years of squeezing feet into ski boots, and then the feeling of elation taking them off at the end of the day. I missed a drink up in the mountains on a sunny day, the smell of the kit room, coming down for a glass of champagne before dinner in absolute Swiss lobby lounge civility. I missed the smell of the rickety old bowling alley in the basement of one of our favorite hotels. I missed shared moments of perfect blue skies on the slopes and blizzarding days of not being able to see five feet in front of you. I missed perfectly executed jumps and massive tumbles into powder. I missed gearing up layers apon layers only to have to undo them all just to have a pee. I missed bratwurst and rosti with Tommy Senf, i missed Ricola sweets my dad for some reason carries every second of every day, I missed Rivella blou, rod and groen.
I missed sharing laughs and smiles and squabbles, I missed being a family, how we were, how always used to be.
I missed the shared moments of talking on ski lifts, fighting down ski slopes, sneaking a smoke, racing my brothers down black slopes and pub crawling down to the bottom at the end of a long day. I missed these moments so much and almost immediately realized that in life moments like these so often go under appreciated until you realize how rare they are. Im not sure if with time comes a certain amount of perspective or if you just realize the importance when the moments become less, you realize they are finite in number and therefor you long for the ones past and hope there will be more in future.
The simple point is, life in its definition is finite, don’t take it for granted, not any of it. Guess it took a simple sound to remind me of that fact. Funny how deep the simple noise of ski pants rubbing together can impact . . .