It is my firm belief that all the Texas sun has warped my sense of reality, for in the past few weeks, all my poems have been about snow and cold. Which of course, does not exist here. While I know realistically that I used to curse Winter regularly at home in Wisconsin, I now fondly reminisce about brisk days and snow piled in perfect waves across the fields, with cornstalks peeking out underneath here and there. Ah, there I go again, romanticizing the whole 5 month long affair up there.
Luckily, I got to live out a bit of that poetic strain in me on my recent trip to Lake Placid, NY with the University of Dallas Cross Country Team for the USCAA National Championships. There was cold, there was snow, and best of all, there were mountains!
Country girl that I am, I’d never seen these magnificent things before, and I fell in love. This is the view from the street outside our hotel. The first time I realized that those things weren’t clouds but actual mountains, I literally gasped. The whole little town was pure delight, filled with coffee shops, candy stores, and boutiques full of boots and winter gear. This tiny church, nestled up above the street on a steep hill was a particular gem.
I spent time wandering the streets with my teammates, drinking coffee that I did not make myself, and of course: running! Lake Placid was smaller than I expected, considering the fact that it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in 1932 and 1980. Our race was even held on the Olympic Biathlon Range. What the heck is the Biathlon? Obviously it’s cross country skiing mixed with shooting targets. Obviously. In the end, my team ended up placing 5th out of 29 girls’ teams; not bad for a school that prides itself on horrible athletics.
Over my time in Lake Placid, I kept being stuck with such a sense of gratitude: for cold, fresh air, for mountains, for my teammates, and most surprisingly for not being in Rome right now. As you know from a previous post, I was supposed to be in Rome this semester for the University’s Rome program. I applied for every scholarship and grant that I could, and in the end, received nothing for my efforts. At first, I was disappointed and by the time that the pictures and posts of Rome and weekend trips to Paris and Prague can pouring in on facebook, I was thoroughly annoyed. But, this semester has turned out to be so entirely wonderful. I know that God didn’t mess up when He prevented me from going. And as I stared up at the blue-gray peaks of the Adirondacks, I could not have been happier with His choice.
Today, I am thankful for being right where I am, where He wants me to be.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!