I'm plowing through an untouched powder field, the snow unearthly deep. It's so light it feels like a sea of translucent feathers. I am drifting, as if buoyed by those inflatable arm floaties kids use in the swimming pool.
Trees occasionally appear in the distance, but nothing gets in my way. I move fast and make subtle, instinctual turns, my legs moving under me as if by memory. The world around me is silent. The sky, a strange, inky black. My vision feels blurry--maybe my goggles are fogged? But I have no worries now. I am serene. I am also alone.
The run seems to continue for an abnormally long period of time, without end. I never reach the bottom.
And then suddenly, I'm awake. Sheltered in my bed, staring at a white, textured ceiling. Outside, it's 70 degrees at 2 a.m. in the middle of summer.
I dream about skiing in the winter on occasion, too, but snow dreams hit me the hardest during the off-season. I wake up and feel February, the dreams as tangible as my pillow.
Perhaps it's my way of dealing with the withdrawal I feel in the summer. My mind and body get so accustomed to the motion of weighting and unweighting skis all winter and then suddenly, without warning, it ends. My body craves the sensation of snow, the same way a thirsty man in the desert longs for water.
The fantasyland isn't all powder, although those are the best versions of the dream. Visions of crud, skin tracks, and chairlifts exist in my sleepy paradise, too.
Snow dreams, they say, can have a few different meanings. Pure, white snow can symbolize a clean start, a fresh perspective. Or icy snow can mean some kind of repression or frigidness, a sense of frozen emotions.
But I'm not sure the dreams mean anything at all besides the fact that skiing has become a part of me. It's in my brain, my bones, my heart, and apparently, my subconscious.
If anything, my snow dreams mean that when it's hot outside and the snow has melted back into water, all I can think about is powder, counting the days until my waking self can live it again.
PHOTO: Ryan Turner