Rooted, I used to think.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 @ 11:57 am
Ski Lesson No. 1

Morgan and I stand beside each other under the gondola platform waiting for our students to arrive. No, that’s wrong, he stands beside me.

I’d arrived at a chaotic scene at the base of the gondola: a mess of adults and children and haphazardly leaning ski equipment. A small girl navigates hesitantly with a white cane. I’m distressed and trying to stay calm while I search for the person with the clipboard.

In the fray, my gaze is drawn to Morgan, his face resolving into familiarity in my brain like a developing negative. We make eye contact, and he nods to wave me over.

“Hey,” he says.

I’m instantly comforted. The way we interact is as if we grew up together.

“Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone knows what’s happening here.” He points out the woman with the clipboard.

I leave him to check in and confirm instructions. I move to the location where I am to meet my student. It’s here, under the gondola platform, where he’s sauntered over to wait with me.

He walks towards me with his hands clasped behind his back. Effortlessly relaxed, observing the scene like a monk. He stands near me, facing me but slightly angled away, and I feel electricity moving between our bodies. My skin knows he’s there beside me.

We make easy small talk. Maybe it’s not small talk? It’s easy, though, that’s all I know.

His student arrives, and he quickly readies to attend to them. In the moment that he’s leaving, he turns slightly and wishes me a good night.

How is it possible to care so deeply about someone having known them for such a short period of time?

I don’t see him again that evening, as my student is more advanced than his. Fog blankets the mountain. I lap the bunny hill with my student and a co-instructor until the student says they’ve had enough.

After returning my student to their mother in the chalet, I have time to do a solo run on my own. I link turns down the green run, shaking off the nerves and angst that always follow when I stretch myself to try something new. Easy turns on the soft snow, and I ride up the chair alone. The trees shrouded in thick, smooth snow. Muffled voices from the skiers on the run below.

He feels like home.

Roots | Shoots