Craving Snow as the Winter Withdrawal Sets In
Sitting here in the library at Wentworth Institute of Technology with hundreds of note cards in front of me, my brain spinning, and my headache intensifying, all I can think about is snow. The fluffy, white, cold dusting that I’ve been anxiously awaiting since that first 90-degree day at the beginning of May. This summer's blistering heat initiated my growing yearning for snow and all the fun that comes with it. Now it’s all I can think about. Skiing, ice climbing, sledding, and winter hiking all followed up with a hot cup of tea cuddled up with my dog in front of the fireplace sounds like heaven.
Sitting here in the library, I see snow ridden pictures with eighteen inches of fresh powder in the northern Presidentials. There’s just a hundred and fifty miles separating me from the snowy blanket that’s covering the white mountains, but it feels like I couldn’t be further away. I love fall, but the past few weeks have been so stressful with my first semester of grad school in full swing that I’ve only had a few days to truly enjoy it. This week has been the worst yet, with hundreds of drugs to memorize while desperately trying to stay sane and meet my basic needs in the process.
It’s only been two weeks since I was up in NH, but it’s felt like an eternity. Being bogged down in countless hours of tedious studying has made me miss the mountains more and more with every passing second. The days in the city all start to blend together. Wake up early for lecture, work in the afternoon, study late into the evening, and get a few fleeting hours of sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining. I’m extremely lucky to be in such a great graduate program with some amazing friends, a job that I love, and my dog by my side. But when I don’t have enough time to get away and decompress, the pressure that comes with it all builds up so much that it’s suffocating.
My release is long walks in the woods and steep climbs to the summit. Or flying down the mountain without a care in the world and the promise of a chairlift at the bottom to take me up all over again. I’ve never longed for some free time to make the trip up to NH more. This summer, hiking was just a fun activity that I did to stay in shape while seeing some amazing views along the way. I never realized how much I loved it until now. I always looked forward to the weekends that I could drive up and hike, but I didn’t need it like I do now.
Seeing the pictures of fellow hikers frolicking in the newly fallen powder, I can’t help but feel jealous. Jealous that I’m not breathing in the cool, clean, winter air. Jealous that there’s no snow crunching beneath my feet. Jealous that I don’t feel the sting of the cold nipping at my face. Jealous that there’s no wind whipping through my hair. Jealous that I don't feel the burn of my fingers and toes defrosting in front of the fireplace after a long day in the cold.
So I sit here in the library and study, counting down the days until I can make the trip north where winter awaits me.