I walk through the skiers like a ghost.
Holding a friendly arm, I shuffle,
Muscles made old far beyond my years,
By dark chemicals made to give the body life.
Skiers in bright colours flash past
Intent in their pursuit of pleasures white.
I spot a bench, brown and inviting
And stagger to it; it’s wooden lattice
The promise of rest and easy breathing.
My goal, an old Alpine refugio, mustard yellow,
Sits a distant one hundred yards away.
For one hour I gather my strength
And in five short minutes I am home.
The mountain with its conifer sentinels
Spreads its shadow across the bowl of clustered chalets.
The excited cries of skiers are now only memory,
Their absence filled by the rich pungency of silence
Hanging invisible off the white-coated branches.
Under patches of heavy grey clouds
I breathe the quiet air under a full moon.
And know that this stillness is my nature.
The unstoppable deep silence of the mountain
Is me; I am porous; a sieve for stillness.
Translucent and transparent as gossamer silk
My body breathes steady and slow
For indeed, my soul is home.