It’s Finnish Independence Day today, which is mostly unrelated to the fact that it was also my first chance to ski this winter. Last year, I skied for the first time on December 1, so I’m just about a week behind, but I can’t help it: my prayers to Ukko weren’t answered favorably. Perhaps I didn’t use the right kind of birch trees in the pyre on which I burned the reindeer skins.

Regardless of supernatural or meteorological reasons, we didn’t have skiable snow until this week, and only last night’s blowing and drifting made my “backyard” viable for a half-hour of kick-and-glide meandering over a 360-meter loop. I was equally surprised to find that I didn’t feel abysmal (no spasming shoulders! spasming feet only about 20 minutes in!) and that the grass, barely covered by the snow, provided a halfway decent kick for my rock skis.

Backyard Ski Tracks
Backyard Ski Tracks

Tomorrow, naps willing, the Arb…

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