I realize this is an uncommon sentiment, as more often than not we hear about midwinter blues, a yearning for the warmth and longer days of summer sun. But it’s July, almost August, and I have had three months of perfect weather, daily summer lightning storms, swimming, hiking, splashing, frolicking, and general states of relative outdoor undress. The mountains are a constant tease; they are naked without their snowcapped peaks, and my days are empty without snowflakes swirling around my face and my nose tip reddening from the frosty, windy, dry winter air. The summer scene is just biding its time until the first snow, until the ground is blanketed with a misleading ground surface consistency, a pillowy softness and a deafening silence and acoustic stillness.
There is speed, downhill, air, thrill in the summer, but it is grimier and dustier and bumpier and more full of broken collar bones and concussions than in the winter. The flips and twirls are higher consequence, speed is higher risk, the sun is stronger and the storms harsher. People are meaner. The culture has shifted, and it’s all wrong.
I walk past my bag full of ski clothes every day and I reach out to touch them, stopping just before my fingertips brush the bit of insulated waterproof fabric sticking out, knowing once I do I’ll have to put them on, wishing winter to come simply by wearing a ski jacket, looking more like a fool than actually influencing the weather gods whatsoever. Every day the sun gets hotter and the days get longer and the time between now and the first snowfall increases at an increasing rate with each passing rainstorm. When will the monsoons turn to blizzards? My nightly happy-hour-after-work-social-club-bar has started switching from downhill biking videos to snowboarding videos, and my comrades and I, much as we purport to enjoy the summer, grasp our margaritas with two hands, mouths agape and drool sneaking out the corners of our lips, as we stare unblinkingly at what seems, right now, a sparkling white fantasy land, cliff drops and pillows, mystical magical forests where tranquility is the norm and happiness is a state of being.
The bikes are well used, the shorts in constant rotation, the arms and shoulders tanned and the raincoats a wardrobe staple. The skis are gathering dust in the garage, the ski boots losing their hard-earned shape with each passing moment. Winter is light years away and I can’t make time go into warp speed.