We drove up the snowy, winding road towards the cozy A-frame cabin. The world surrounding us was bathed in white bluish tinted magnificence, as if being viewed through a heavenly prismatic yet opaque lens, beauty and wonder were reaching out to touch and warm the cold hearts of anyone willing to revel in nature's beguiling painted white canvas. The air was crisp and clean, as if a pure entrancing white blanket had somehow shrouded and masked the real world for just a few fantastical moments, allowing peace and joy to flow through our hearts, while enticingly beckoning us towards fun and frolic and joy of the holiday season.
I blinked a few times, bringing my mind back to reality. I was siting in the second row by the window seat of the van, my head braced against the window like a child, trying hard not to miss a single detail of this wonderful scenery. I took real pictures with my phone, but the imaginative ones were forever etched in my memory. There were five of us, friends from different walks of life, brought together by different circumstances, all chosen by the universe to be at the same AAA meeting place. We had all celebrated one year of our sobriety milestone and decided to take this trip as a well deserved gift to ourselves.
The group of us comprised of Manny, a military vet who now counsels troubled youths at his gym. Lauren, a semi-successful writer who made good money on her first book, but was having trouble finishing the second one. Gerry, a brilliant software engineer, his hands were shaking badly, and he needed a break to get himself together, he took an extended leave from his job, hoping that no one had noticed it. Tavia, college drop out, youngest member of the group, taking a gap year 'to grow up', rich family, spoilt kid, enough said she told us. Then there is me, Tatania, dreamer and the owner of an antiques store that was not doing so well. People cannot afford the luxuries of life anymore, they just concentrate mainly on the basics for their existence.
We all took turns driving, but my turn was decidedly short, I was the slow creeping type of driver, driving was never my thing. It took forever to obtain a driver's license, and even then, but for the grace of God go I. I was in awe of the fact that I even remotely deserved passing the test. I maintain that the nice lady instructor was just too sorry for me to fail me. I clutch tightly to the steering wheel and tunnel drive the entire time. So needless to say, my van mates revoked my driving priviliges. That was fine by me, more time for me to enjoy the alluring pull of mother nature as seen through a window brightly.
The cabins were knee deep in snow, but someone had attempted to shovel the driveway, it was fast becoming obscured again as we finally arrived at our assigned abode.
"You can wake up now Titanium", Tavia teased. She found my name positively hilarious.
"Hey, I'm not sleeping, just dreaming and enjoying the holy cleansing of the land". I smiled back at her.
"It is beautiful here, isn't it. I cannot wait to hit the slopes after we get settled". Manny was an avid skier, he just had not done so in years.
"A little help here, the snow is a witch to walk in with these bags". Gerry was trying to unload the van.
We all turned from gaping at the spectacular view behind the cabins, and helped to get the luggage inside the warm and cozy interior of the building. Stepping outside again, we all marveled at the view, it was invigorating and breathtaking to behold. The mountainous terrain was arrayed in sheets of sapphire and aquamarine splendor. A genius of a painter had splashed the lovely blue tinted colors onto the white snow, thrown some perennial winter trees at it's feet, and flung frivolously into the picture a few leafless branches to preserve a perfect canvas of petrified beauty for all to see. The cabins were then painted onto the picture to complete the most beautiful of winter wonderland. We were going to have the planned carefully decided gorgeous weekend expensively upgraded to two weeks of complete enjoyment, even if we went broke afterwards. It was definitely going to be worth every nickel. Luckily for us we were offered a huge discount, after much begging and pleading, and a promise to return the following year with lots of company.
The cabin had four bedrooms, Lauren and Gerry had become a couple and were engaged, they shared one, while the rest of us had one each. The interior was decorated in warm and rustic elegant wood tones, navy blue sofas with cream colored black textured cushions gave off a log cabin airy vibe. Warm toned string lights hanging from the ceiling gave the place a cozy and inviting feel. In one corner was a green potted gentle giant, in the other was another cream colored potted plant with tiny hints of black on its leaves. The place felt completely comfortable, inviting, and cuddled us with that lived-in look and feel of a home away from home kind of feeling.
Lauren was the cook in the group, she voted to make dinner as the fridge was stocked full of good stuff. It had better be, at the exorbitant price they charged for this ideal trip, it had better be worth it.
Later we took to the slopes, those who could ski helped the neophyte and awkward beginners, we tumbled and rolled, got up and tried again, all the while laughing and just being happy in the knowledge that we were alive and able to accomplish anything that we allowed our minds to conceive. We were free of life's cares, trials and troubles and were adamant and steadfast in our quest to enjoy it to the fullest.
Time goes by fast when fun and freedom of expression was the ultimate goal. We hiked in the sunny, yet cold and bracing exterior of life. The deer and a few brave animals stared at us as if wondering if we were as crazy and brave as they were to be out in this challenging weather. Yes, we were. Yes, we were. We lazed about at nights, played games, watched some scary movies and forgot about another life and it's worries and cares. We went to the clubs and ordered sparkling, non-alcoholic sodas in the bottles to be sure, water and cranberry juice. Mainly me for the cranberry, everyone else pooh poohed at the concept. We danced the nights away, throwing caution to the wind. Just being.
The two weeks were over in the twinkling of an eye. We had challenged the slopes. Stared old man winter in the face and saw mother woman nature cheering us on. Our resolve was strengthened. We could overcome anything with friendship at the helm of our tried and weathered steadfast ship.
We waved goodbye to our physical, yet metaphoric mountain companion of the past two weeks. "If only it understood the depth of the change it has stirred in the hearts of its five temporary companions of these past days", Tavia murmured, standing deep in thought, her hands reaching out to frame the mountain between her fingers.
"It does. The mountain remains our strength and hope throughout time and space. It understands and will always be there for us". I replied to her query. I was impressed at the depth to which this question must have emerged from and within one so young.
We were reborn and ready to face whatever life threw at us from now on. In friendship we trust, was our new motto. There are many monsters to slay in life, but none more stubborn, obstinate and strong willed than our own personal demons.
About the Creator
Uk based. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. They diverge into diverse places and meet wonderous beings, in words I have met many. I value each writer equally, as I traverse through this wondrous writing/reading family.