Nyctophilia and an Ode to Night Skiing


I’ve got a bad case of nyctophilia this winter (and every winter it seems). There’s something about the contrast of a white trail reflected into the night sky that consumes me. I can’t get enough. Last night I found myself skiing the Piedmont trails, it was sublime to say the least. The conditions were dreamy and so, so fast. Just the way I like it. Thoughts and feelings of gratitude overflowed and spilled out of me and onto the trail, as I whooped with complete delight.

If ever there’s a chance that your feet never leave the physical earth, but you somehow feel like you’re flying—tonight was the night. The star-filled sky swallowed me whole and spit me out like a crack of lightning. It flung me silently into the night, as I begged for it to make me a star, part of a constellation, a planet, anything stellar—some far away speck of light that glows in the darkest hours. This big starry sky that looms above me is my cathedral. I pray for nights like this. Can’t quit this feeling, can’t wipe this smile off my face. The energy of this moment is palpable. I feel so alive. This is what I live for. The urgency to ski faster consumes me. Kicking harder, poling harder, chasing that headlamp glow faster and faster. Breathing in black air, exhaling white fire. Tucking into the corners and hills—faster, lighter, quicker. I want it all. I’ve got all I need in this moment. Gratitude silently spills from my mouth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this night.

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