“When you go into the April snows/
the snow goes into you.”

steve ilg
Pagosa Speaks

today, i chugged up the 2,200′ of vert to the top of Lift 8 at Purg…
oh sure, the ski area is closed,
yet, when did THAT ever stop a WF Warrior Yogi from doing what we do best?
suffer upward in the delight of the Divine?
the calico slopes of dirt and snow
only thrilled me more into the Now…

two weeks ago, the skiing masses with their neon suits and snowboards, rocker skis,
and stashes of PBR’s were rockin’ down these slopes
tapped into their iPods,
looking for the next high…
here is the next high, young ones…and it takes place
after the lifts close for the season and you must sweat like a 3-legged dawg in heat
in order to earn your precious turns…you up?
50 year-old ilg sure is…

…why are mine the only ski tracks now poised in splendid juxtaposition
with the forlorn, empty, entropic lifts?
what happens to the brash and verve of the young
when the lifts simply stop?
too lazy to crave the pines in soliloquy?

i followed the upwardly turned terrain westward, toward the top of Lift 8…
my herringbone technique leaving tracks like a drunk penguin
etched upon the 2″ of fresh, virgin snows…
ilg – once again displaying my simpleton character – was in heaven
at Purgatory…alone, huffing, puffing, breathing the high, potent pran
posted by God upon these precious shelves of spruce, sandstone, and lichens dancing…

end o’ the trail…and the high heart rate…elevation over 10,800′ at the summit of Lift 8…

the sign at this last, high outpost of the Ski Patrol cabin reads,
“That’s all she wrote…
…see you on the River!”

see, in Durango?
the highest occupation is a twin one:
Ski Patrol/Instruction in the winter,
Raft Guide in the summer.
what’s not to love?
should my own daughter grow up to spend her winters skiing
and her summer’s on Mother River?
ilg would die a happy dad…

view from the top of Lift 8

at my Pranayama pit stop before the scintillating downhill…
the entire mountain resort
my own…

at the summit turn around after an hour+ of uphill heaving…

spiritual insight will not be given to the weak,
to one attracted by sex and the sensual entertainments…
to the undevoted or the unsurrendered…
to the non-yogi,
to the greedy of the outer worldly things…

success at the m(om)ent of death?
comes to he
to she
who has learned to cherish the experience of the nearness of the One Within
and thus reMember with the One
all around you…
feeble ilg knows such things because the April Snows told me so…

Blessings upon your Inward Practice…


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