There is a moment in time, a pause upon a hill where there is a whiteness of winter. It’s not just an absence of colour but more a blending of textures. White upon white, cold to cold, slipping into the many shades of gray and finally a fade to black.

A fresh snowfall on a windswept prairie with the trees silhouetted against a dusky sun shrouded in a cold blanket of clouds.

The clear air, the crunch of snow and a sense of stark bleak threatening cold it’s a sense of darkness and dying. A certain biting chill threatens to take my breath away and drive a tingling numbness to my fingertips and my toes.

I move my feet to dislodge a small clump of frozen snow clinging to the bottom of my skis. The noise starts off a ruckus of brown sparrows as they take flight, chattering noisily and flicking from bush to bush they search for a cache of lingering fall seeds.

I inhale deeply and just as quickly the biting cold air threatens once again to pull it away. I stomp my legs more vigorously to drive the chill away then push off down the track. The warmth of my legs starts to return just as quickly as my face starts to burn with the cold. But in these peaceful surroundings and with each glide of my skis, I know this cold winter day will find no strength to take me today.