If you’re not a skier, you’ll just have to bear with me here. And, if you do ski and fail to see the tree I’m about to bark up, then perhaps just smile sweetly and move on. Because with ample mountain air and feet buckled firmly into those weighty boots, I’ve been doing a little thinking…
First let’s start with the basics; there is no dispute that carrying skis is unavoidable for anyone who chooses to pursue this frosty sport. And, let’s face it, these long, heavily laminated planks of wood are, at the very least, cumbersome to carry while trekking to and up any mountain.
The smallest of these foot accessories belong to the 4-year-old who can ski but, of course, can’t bear the weight of her equipment. And so her father carries the burden, until she is deemed strong enough. Then follows only a few years of independent ski carrying before any unsuspecting boyfriends pick up the mantle in their bid to show manliness.
Predictably, the husband follows suit too, until… inevitably… two pairs becomes four. And with the increase in skis comes the juggle of carrying while sharing the burden. Because (and this is the crucial bit) ski-carrying means much more than the mere physical act – there is the burden, the responsibility and the unconditional support.
Of course, there will one day come a time where we can no longer carry any skis. And, at his point, the meaning is completely lost.
So, here we have it. My equivalent of The Giving Tree (if you haven’t read it – please promise me to do so) is The Ski Carrier. Put simply, it’s the stages of life with and without skis on our shoulders.