Have you ever had an experience that was so sublime, and ended so well, that you felt like you were in a dream? When you look back on it and think with your logical mind, you realize you were really in trouble, and something, or someone saved you from disaster.
25 years ago, I had made some changes in my life, and I was looking to make new friends and have some fun. So, I joined a ski club. I didn’t really know how to ski! But I figured I would learn. So I signed up for a trip to Big Sky, Montana.
I took a skiing lesson, but it certainly didn’t make me an expert! When my new friends decided to take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, I couldn’t resist following along. It looked like such a fun ride. And I wanted to be with them, even though I realized I couldn’t keep up with them. I started to get a little nervous when I saw how high up we were going, and realized I would have to figure out how to come down this huge mountain. But I consoled myself with the fact that my new friends would help me.
Well that didn’t happen. We got to the top of the mountain, and I hesitated a little bit, and they just left. They didn’t want to be bothered with a new skier. I stayed at the top, watching other skiers, trying to figure out their technique. But I realized this was beyond me. So I took off my skis and walked down this first scary part. When I got to the bottom, I put my skis back on again, and looked down. It was still scary, but not as bad. I thought, maybe I can do this.
Fortunately, someone who must have been watching me, asked if I needed help. I’m not very good at accepting help. But that day, I pushed aside my pride, and I said yes, I could certainly use some help.
I honestly can’t describe this man. I don’t remember what he was wearing or what he looked like. He explained what I needed to do: “Just go in front of me and zig zag from side to side. That will keep you from going straight down and you can control your speed better. I’ll go behind you and tell you when to turn.”
It sounded easy enough. I just trusted him. I started going to the left, and then I heard him say turn. I was able to do that, go to the right, then he said turn again. Pretty soon I had developed a comfortable rhythm. He told me I was doing fine and said he would see me down at the bottom. I didn’t even say thank you because I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing. But once he left, I remember feeling such exhilaration because I was getting down this mountain on my own. I was doing it! It was so much fun.
When I got to the bottom, I wanted to find him and thank him. But I never did. I couldn’t find him.
I am sure this man saved me from disaster. And because of him, I really did learn how to ski. In fact, I rode back up that mountain and came down a 2nd time! That was probably one of the best days of my life.
Who was this man? Was he an angel? A kind stranger? I will never know for sure. But the whole experience was so surreal. I felt like I was in a heaven for a few hours.