During my stay at Jindabyne (the village closest to the Snowy Mountains), my family and I were ushered into our motel by a middle aged man, with the most electric blue eyes I’ve ever seen and a killer italian accent. It turned he also owned the neighboring Italian restaurant, which we spent most of the night in, praising the pepperoni pizza and creamy carbonara. We spent the afternoon wandering the lake and visiting the warm bookshop. The cold wasn’t bad at first, but then it started to settle into your bones and slowly freeze you until it felt like it was a sin to leave your hands outside of your pockets (unless you had gloves, which unfortunately I forgot to pack). So far, I was kinda enjoying myself.
The next day was Judgement day. The decider. The day when I was finally going to see snow. I had a perfect vision of my first experience. I would be standing in an empty clearing, laden with beautiful, clean and powdery snow. Light wisps would fall down. I would gently reach down and cup a handful. Bring it to my mouth and taste the sweetness. It would be perfect and amazing.
The pressure we put on first experiences.
Anyway, it didn’t go exactly as planned. As soon as we got there, my family and I bundled inside to get skiing lessons. I only had time to gaze around in wonder and I remembered thinking, ‘This is just like something out of Google Images.’ Which I didn’t know was bad or good. Turned out there weren’t any half day lessons available at where we were so then we got on a bus after hiring some (heavy) skiing equipment and off we went to another mountain. Still hadn’t having touched snow yet.
I got off with my brother and went to my lesson. I had gloves on and a helmet, so no chance of skin to skin contact with the stuff underneath my feet. The skiing instructor was pleased to hear that I’d ice skated before and told me that I should be able to pick up skiing quite quickly. (FYI I am terribly at ice skating. Really. Man, I suck.) Needless to say, I did not pick it up quickly. I had some falls, but eventually I got the hang of it.
I was sweating like crazy afterwards so I took off my glove. And reached down. For the snow. And got an icy scrape of this icy stuff which iced my fingers (bear with me). Which was not powdery. Or soft. Or magical.
It was frankly; disappointing.
It occurred to me then, how much pressure we put on first hand experiences. As if the rest doesn’t matter. Our first impression, first experience means everything. There is no room for repentance. Everything depended on that moment.
Which was not true. I cannot tell you how great and amazing it was when I got to the top of the mountain, where the snow was beautiful and soft and deep, and how clean and sparkly it was and how my brother and I had the best snowball fight ever and when I tasted it, it was incredibly sweet. The first thing was nothing. This was the real moment. And although we think that the first moment is the most important; it’s not. We only try to make it be. There are so many great things after, that the first moment is crushed, is forgotten. There should be no pressure on the first moment. Because there is more than the first moment. And we should look for the other things too.
And on a completely different note, you had no idea how many times I embarrassed myself. I jammed the elevator thingo when I tripped over. Twice. I went to fast down the mountain and crashed into a tree. The snow sled team rescued me. But it was fun. So incredibly fun. Can’t wait to go there again next year. 😀