The orange glow from setting sun trickled through the dense snow-covered branches, the fading light from its rays descending over the shimmering snow. The landscape below was alabaster white splattered with deep purple shadows cast by the towering mountains on either side of the valley. A cold wind blew, picking up the dusty snow and sweeping it over the mountainside, tipping pine trees before whistling away.
The ski lift slowed and Jessica raised the safety bar. Ski poles in hand, she gently pushed away and slid down the small slope to a small plateau. She stopped, pulled her jacket sleeves over her gloves and adjusted her goggles. The crowds had dissipated and the mountain was all but abandoned. Hearing soft chatter, Jessica turned and watched as an older couple, dressed in matching ski suits, hopped off the ski lift and took to the hillside.
Suns setting you better make this your last run, the husband hollered as he passed.
Jessica waved her acknowledgement and looked up. The sun silently sank behind the mountaintop and blue drained from the sky.
Poles to the ground and a quick thrust and Jessica began to cruise down the mountainside. Brisk, biting air whipped at her face. And then the sky as if on cue opened up, sending heavy, wet snowflakes swirling to the ground, creating a white haze.
She continued down the mountainside, carving wide arcs along its surface. The air blew harder, the snow fell faster and Jessica felt the thrill of outrunning the flakes that pattered quietly against the ground.
The last of the sun disappeared behind the peak and darkness, like a scroll, rolled out across the sky.
For just a moment, Jessica closed her eyes, and breathed in every detail. The howling of the wind, the icy-cold snowflakes as they melted against her skin and the burn in her thighs.
The last run was always the sweetest. Alone. Quiet. Special. This was where she met Him.
She giggled, leaned forward and picked up speed, flying over the heaps of snow and whipping past fir trees bending in the wind. He was here. His majesty. His beauty. His spontaneity. It was just like Him to send a snowfall on the very last run sprinkling her trail with His love and presence. She learned a long time ago that He exposes His heart His love in the things we take for granted every day: The way He pulls the sun up into the sky every morning, dips the sky in diamonds and causes blooms to reach toward the heavens. Nature sings of His holiness, and her heart responded in halleluiahs. Some people meet God in church. Some meet Him in music, art or prayer.
She meets Him here. On the mountain.
Jessica saw the lodge in the distance, coming closer and clearer by the second. This moment was nearly over. And as her skis met level ground and her pace began to slow, Jessica raised her arms poles and all to the heavens. Thank you, she whispered. Thank you.
She slowed to a stop and stood there for a moment longer as the snowflakes skidded across the surface of the snow and against her skin. And then, as quickly as it came, the snow stopped. Jessica opened her eyes, still looking toward the heavens. And smiled.
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