THE BLESSING: A HAPPY PEACE, WITHOUT PAUSE

SATURDAY promised bright skies, clean, deep-packed snow. The trails were nearby and well groomed—ready for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skier. Perfect, at last, for a rare family outing to cross-country ski.

Though I felt pretty accomplished, and relished any chance to be out there, I'd stopped alpine skiing partly out of fear of tearing down a hill, at any speed. (It had become my habit to pause at the top—and the pauses were getting longer and longer.) So when I skied on my own, I'd tend to choose cross-country trails with few steep hills or sharp turns. Yet I knew that on Saturday those trails would not satisfy our two sons (or their dad), who'd be out of sight before I even had my skis on!

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