Photo from The Clock archives

I Often Forget

By: Sarah Schartner, For The Clock

I often forget how I grew up skiing. I learned on the snowbanks in my front yard, left over from late night powder that had dusted the main roads. Back then, I had plastic skis that had matching plastic bindings. From there I graduated to real skis, or at least as real as skis can be for anyone under the age of six. By the time I reached middle school, I skied five days a week, training one morning and one night, plus school skiing, race day, and Sunday free skis with my family. I didn’t really understand how rare that was when I was twelve. When I got to high school, skiing went on the back burner, steadily being bumped further and further down my priority list. It was something that never strayed fare from the forefront of my mind. Living in New Hampshire, snow is never really off a person’s mind, even in the middle of July. As a N.H. native you sort of split time with negative or positive feelings towards snow. Six months of enjoyment, six months of dread. I think a lot of the time as someone who has spent their whole life in the same state, seemingly special things go by unacknowledged after a while.

I often forget that such a small population of kids get to call the White Mountains home. I have become so enthralled with other places, other mountain-scapes, other city skylines, that in recent years, I have been bypassing some of my home states most amazing attributes. Skiing is one of those things, but so are late May sunsets and mid-August lake afternoons and January blizzards and those fresh March days where daffodils are finding their way through the Earth.

I often forget about how our local purple mountains can blend into burnt orange so well as summer approaches. I often forget that my view of this small corner of the world is something people long for, that my May sunsets are what some children dream of. I often forget that that same burnt orange I see sink low, velvet-like, into the tippy tops of pine trees, is a rare moment for some to witness. I often forget that that bleeding into those conifers, like the yolk of an over easy Sunday morning egg, can still make people lose their breath.

I often forget about mid-August lake days, how so many people long to get dropped off at work after a day of acquiring new freckles and spying on loons. I often forget that the lake ten minutes from my house is a destination of travelers from all of the Eastern seaboard. I often forget that the place I learned to swim, that glistens with ripples of mountain strewn wind, is a getaway for those who live life surrounded by pavement. I often forget that I am lucky to see the sun start to play hide and seek amidst the horizon and give soft light to glassy water as nightfall pends in the distance.

I often forget how utterly breathtaking a January snowfall is. There is no white as crystal and pristine as that from a 3 a.m. dumping. I often forget how that white makes any wedding dress, any pearly teeth, pale in comparison. I often forget how snow absorbs sound and so the world is not only bright, but silent, silent in a way no human is capable of achieving. I often forget only Mother Nature’s finest work can make the world drown out.

I often forget the sensation of a March day. I often forget how Spring can tickle not only at your nose, but your eyes too, as color finally returns to NewEngland. I often forget how the strength of the sun seems like the only healing entity I could ever need in life. I often forget how when the floor of the Earth creates new life seemingly over night. I often forget how glorious my backyard feels with the freshness of daisies and budding birches.

I often forget how fortunate I am to be from the place four thousand undergraduate students gravitate towards. I often forget that the campus less than a mile from my childhood home is a place where students crave to be. I often forget that I should take more time to step back and dedicate a minute or two towards these small moments of realization. I often forget that I am forgetting.