Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
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Reports & Essays: Creative Writing - Personal Essays

"AND""OR"

A Frightening Experience
I was the first person to ski off the chairlift that day, arriving at the summit of Bosquets Mountain, nestled in the heart of the Berkshires. It was the type of day when the clouds seemed to blanket the sky, leaving no clue that the sun, with its powerful light, even existed anymore. It was not snowing, but judging by the damp, musty, stale scent in the air, I realized it would be only a short time before the white flakes overtook the mountain. As I readied myself to make the first run, I took a moment to appreciate my surroundings. Somehow things seemed much different up here. The wind, nonexistent at the bottom, began to gust. Its cold bite found my nose. Its quick and sudden swirling movement kicked loose snow into my face, forcing me to zip my jacket over my chin. It's strange how the gray clouds, which seemed so far above me at the bottom, really didn't appear that high anymore. If I had a tall enough ladder, I might be able to touch them. As I gazed out over the landscape, the city below seemed unrecognizable. The enormous buildings which I had driven past earlier looked like dollhouses. The towering had it not been for the tiny stream of gray emerging from them. At this distance, the smoke spiraled upward like tree branches reaching for the sky. The air was raw and stung me through my many layers of clothing. There was snow all around me. It was on the trail and in the trees. There was so much white, that my eyes became blinded by so much absence of color. It was too cold to remain at the top forever, so I decided to make my run. I gave a strong push with my poles, starting my skis sliding gently across the snowy terrain. I kept my speed slow in order to feel out the mountain and its changing conditions. Ahead of me lay a carpet of virgin, white snow totally untouched by other skiers. A skier's dream. The steepness of the mountain increased my speed as the cold air whistled past my ears. I edged my skis which responded to perfection , cutting into the snow and tracking across the mountain. As I gained speed, my turns grew in length. Approaching the steepest part of the trail, I noticed an imperfection in the snow. A large bump jutted itself out of the ground, waiting to devour skiers. Unfortunately I noticed the bump too late to adjust my turns and change my course to avoid it. As my right ski passed over it, my cold muscles were unable to absorb the shock sent to my leg. The sudden jerk of my ski sent it screaming off of my foot, leaving only a ski boot behind. Unable to keep my balance, I leaned forward, sending my head on a course straight for the ground. My face was so cold it felt like it was on fire. I spun and tumbled as my inertia pulled me down the mountain. My arms and legs ached as they pounded into the snow. I finally stopped after the mountain had enough fun with me. I stood up, painted with snow. The snow on my face melted, leaving drops of water trickling into my mouth. As I looked up the hill, I noticed my two skies, my poles and goggles some thirty feet above me. I put aside the throbbing pain of my muscles for the moment and began to climb up the mountain to retrieve my equipment. I had a lot of climbing to do and was winded as I stepped back into my skis. I thought about the near disaster as I began to make my way, more cautiously than usual down the mountain. When I neared the bottom of the mountain, I realized I had avoided a trip down the mountain in the dreaded ski patrol sled. I smiled to myself as I skied back into the lift line for my next run down the mountain.

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