Though the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting
with 10 miles behind me and 10,000 more to go …
— the prophet james taylor
Mo and I talk a lot about moving to Flagstaff or Seattle. Maybe Portland. Sure, it’s cold, we say. But it’s just a matter of wearing layers. No problem.
I’m standing at the track today. It’s terribly, terribly cold. Sub-50s. It’s been raining for two days, but there’s finally a break. I go to the track.
I am stunned by the mountains in the background. “You gotta go see the McDowells,” Mo told me on the phone as she drove to work. Now I see why. They are covered in a white frosting. We’re in the midst of the biggest snowstorm in the state’s history, bringing 3 feet of snow to northern Arizona and snow levels down to somewhere around the top row of the bleachers at the track. The mountains have been covered by heavy clouds up until this afternoon, but now they’re glimmering in a breathtaking backdrop for the college. It’s amazing.
I think about what it would be to live someplace with snow. The change in seasons, the bracing cold of winter. Having lived in the desert most of my life, it seems like a nice change. I’m in. Let’s do it.
I stand in the bleachers, ready to jump the fence and run. But I can’t. It’s so cold and wet and ugly. I have no idea how people can survive in these conditions. Maybe they wear long pants or something. I screw up enough courage to last three crummy miles. And then I unscrew it and run back to the warmth of the car. Running is supposed to be fun. Running in the cold is the opposite of fun.
Maybe it’s just not meant to be, this cold weather thing. I embrace triple digits. I hate being cold and wet. I always have. I don’t know how to make that work. 10 miles behind me and 10,000 more to go.
I get out of the car and take one last look at the mountains, bright with newly fallen snow. They’re beautiful.
We should really move to Flagstaff. Maybe in July. Just a matter of wearing layers. No problem …