February is not only the shortest month of the year, but is also considered the longest and coldest month of the year. For most of us living in colder parts of the world, February is often a dull, gloomy, dark and depressing month. And, yet, there is a light sparkle in the air halfway through the month when February the14th rolls in and life seems lighter, more merry. But, as the cold winds escalate and the flurries of February wrap themselves around my hat and scarf, I contemplate my escape, my winter escape. Which brings me to the realization that almost every person I know is preparing and planning their winter escape somewhere hot - perhaps to a sun drenched beach or a tropical paradise, a yoga retreat in Fiji, a family vacation in Disney World or maybe that luxurious cruise you crave, but few contemplate escaping to a winter destination unless you are a jet-set skier in Vale, Colorado! It all sounds so enticing; palms trees, blazing sunsets and balmy breezes, but deep within my soul, I long for a 'real' winter; I plan my escape to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. My heart skips a beat as I visualize my winter cabin amidst powdered covered mountaintops emptying into a vast background of pastures, fields and forest all sprinkled with mounds of snow, where winter is tenacious. I breathe in the fresh air and night sky against a cloudless bevy of brightly lit star jewels and reach to bring one closer to my heart. Listening to the crackle of wood from a free standing wood stove and hearing the winds of winter nipping at the door, makes the peace and tranquility more inviting as I immerse into a deep sleep. And, in the morning, as I gaze through frozen glass shimmering its brilliance across unpopulated lands and open sky, I silently reflect before beginning my early meditation, before practicing yoga, before putting on my snowshoes to tackle those rollings hills with camera in tow, at how perfect it all is.
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