Campus Life St. John's College Santa Fe

Farewell to Hiking Season

It’s snowed, we know, and buried underneath are the trails we’ve frequented in our past lives of fall and spring. Was it only this Tuesday, I wonder, that I went up to Castle Rock before French class, when now walking down a flight of icy steps seems itself like an odyssey?

When I’d wake up in September, I could hear people calling for their dogs outside my open window and the occasional whirring of a mountain-bike chain. I’d slough off my covers that were then too hot and go to join them, delighting in the passing good-mornings that would come tromping down the path. And there was always enough sunlight, even moonlight, for a few miles after class. 

But now the time for carefully watched footing and for electric blankets has come. Sitting here in the Admissions Office, bemoaning my frozen fate, a Winter Spirit appears. For our purposes, let’s say it’s Bill Murray at the end of Groundhog Day

Bill Murray shows me to a window in Weigle Hall and says, “Here we have a beautiful winter scene. The sun is shining right now, and the roads are clear. So you could be a winter whiner, or you could put your feet up in front of a fire in the coffee shop with a mocha mit schlag, which I will sponsor for you if it makes you stop whining. If you’re not happy with your feet in front of a fire with a mocha mit schlag, then when will you be happy?” Mit Schlag, this Bill Murray then tells me, just means whipped cream. 

“There’s victory in that,” he says. Victory in what? “In enjoying the things that are available to you instead of desiring the things that you can’t have.” And just as quickly as he appeared, he vanishes, probably to get lunch. 

So no more winter whining from me today. Bring on the long, luscious winter, snowshoeing, the mit schlag and the mach schnell at the Santa Fe ski basin. Here’s looking to ice skating, candlelit flows, hot soup and cold hands. Thanks, Bill Murray, and see you around, hiking season. 

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